20 Sep 2018

Liquor store owner facing closure says he's being singled out

7:17 pm on 20 September 2018

The owner of the only bottle stores in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere says he doesn't know why he's being singled out by those who want his premises shut down.

The owner of the Flaxmere Liquor Centre doesn't know why he's being singled out.

The owner of the Flaxmere Liquor Centre doesn't know why he's being singled out. Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

Three objections have been filed with the Hastings District Council opposing Flaxmere Liquor Centre renewing its license.

One of them was from Hastings District Councillor and Te Aranga Marae chairman Henare O'Keefe who said it was "criminal" to have three outlets selling liquor in one of the city's poorest suburbs.

"You have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. We all know the damage alcohol causes. Three outlets in a suburb such as ours? That's criminal, absolutely criminal," Mr O'Keefe said.

Alcohol could also be bought at the New World supermarket and the Flax Bar and Eatery, and while the bottle store had operated on the edge of the Flaxmere shopping village for the past 10 years, it had never received complaints.

Speaking on behalf of Flaxmere Liquor Centre owner Chamkaur Singh, business advisor Dave Porteous said he did not understand why Mr O'Keefe was opposing its licence renewal now.

The store had just spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" renovating the shop on the advice of the inspector during its last renewal visit three years ago, Mr Porteous said.

"He thinks he's doing a good job and he just doesn't know why, as he sees it, he's being singled out. He believes he is offering a service to the community," he said.

Two other objections have been lodged with the Hastings District Council, which says a public hearing will be held.

Police and the Hawke's Bay District Health Board are not opposing the application.

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