The Auckland Council is defending approval being given for a bottle shop directly opposite a school gate.
Thirsty Liquor Wickman Way is earmarked to go above an existing superette, opposite the Southern Cross Campus group of three schools catering for 1500 students in Mangere.
The application was allowed despite strong opposition from the schools, public health officials and a licensing inspector.
It would not have been given under the council's planned Local Alcohol Policy which would freeze new off-licences for two years.
The council's liquor licensing manager, Rob Abbott, said on Monday the committee that granted approval couldn't take into account the proposed policy because it was able to consider only the current legislation.
Mr Abbott said it is possible there could be an influx of applications ahead of the new policy being brought in.