An application for a liquor store in the seaside town of Māpua has been rejected, after a licensing committee found it would increase alcohol related harm in the area.
The licensing inspector, Te Whatu Ora, police and 88 individuals objected to the application by Nelson Holdings Limited to open a Super Liquor store in Aranui Road.
The Tasman District Licensing Committee's ruling found there was no evidence that granting the application would benefit the small town and that it was like to increase harm, particularly due to the proposed store's proximity to Māpua School and Aranui Park.
In the decision, committee chairman Brent Maru said there was strong contention from the community that the bottle store was not wanted.
It noted that Māpua was very child and family centric, and residents wanted it to remain that way.
Tasman District Council alcohol licensing inspector Tracy Waddington said the proposed location of the store, 50m from a primary school, would result in an increase in both availability and exposure to alcohol.
Te Whatu Ora medical officer of health Dr Andrew Lindsay gave evidence that alcohol was an established risk factor for a wide range of health and social harms and that granting of a licence would not be in the best interests of the community.
Data from Nelson Hospital ED showed there were 266 alcohol-related presentations from Māpua and Ruby Bay residents from 2018 to 2022.
Over 5 percent of those were for 15-24 year olds and were due to alcohol intoxication.
Alcohol was also a factor in one in ten presentations among residents aged 20-24 years old. The number of presentations due to alcohol have increased since 2018.
Nelson Bays Police alcohol harm prevention officer sergeant Olivia Gibson said in her 20 years' experience in policing, she had experienced alcohol related harm in every
measure in the community.
This included homelessness, family harm, mental health, road trauma and disorder, where alcohol was not only a contributing factor but a main driver.
Gibson said the location was also considered high-risk given police were located some distance away in Motueka.
The application was declined on the basis there was no evidence it would benefit Māpua.