TODAY |

Protesters angry liquor outlet allowed opposite school

Protesters have rallied against a liquor outlet in south Auckland that has been given permission to expand even though it's opposite a school of 1500 students.

Supermarket shelves stocked with wine.

A large group of protesters met at the site opposite Southern Cross Campus today as Auckland's draft alcohol policy opened for submissions.

The policy is expected to stop liquor stores opening anywhere near schools in the future but the protesters say south Auckland is already at alcohol saturation point.

In Mangere and Otahuhu there are 106 alcohol licences and Hone Aupouri Fowler from the Mangere East Community Learning Centre is saying no to more liquor stores and no to the expansion of liquor stores outside schools.

The protesters are angry because Auckland Council's licensing committee has given the go-ahead for a bigger booze business for the Price Cutter across the road - which is currently licensed to sell alcohol in the supermarket. It wants to forfeit that license in return for one to build a much larger separate liquor store in the building above.

New policy being drafted will include a two year freeze on issuing new licences in areas that are at saturation point and new licences in small neighbourhood centres. There will also be a reduction in trading hours and outlets would not be allowed to be within 100 metres of sensitive sites such as schools or churches.

The council set up a stand at the Otara Flea Markets today to discuss the draft alcohol policy. The proposal has garnered large support from Auckland residents with 91% of residents wanting no increase in the number of liquor stores.

Submissions on the council's draft Local Alcohol Policy will be open until July.