13 Jun 2014

Anger over liquor sale near school

1:01 pm on 13 June 2014

A group of south Auckland school is to appeal appeal against the granting of a liquor licence to a store just outside its gates.

The Auckland District Licensing Committee has approved a new off-licence in Mangere, across the road from Southern Cross Campus. Its schools have 1500 students from years 1 to 13.

The store, Thirsty Liquor Wickman Way, is planned above an existing superette, which in turn will stop selling alcohol.

Southern Cross chair of trustees, Peter Parussini, said it was unfair the schools found out about the application just before the hearing and he was flabbergasted at the decision.

"Having a liquor outlet across the road from the main entrance of one of the biggest schools in south Auckland is just outrageous. How can anyone think that's a good idea?"

Principal Robin Staples said the process of granting the application had been underhand.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service had told the licensing committee a liquor store selling ready-to-drink products was likely to increase alcohol exposure to young people. A licensing inspector said liquor should not be sold so near to schools and a church.

The lawyer acting for the liquor store's owners, John Young, said the shop had been selling alcohol for years with no issues. He said it will not be able to sell alcohol between 3pm and 4pm on school days.

The Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board is also considering appealing against the ruling.