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Bid for city liquor store declined — another withdrawn

A strongly opposed application by Gisborne Liquormart for an off-licence liquor premises in Gladstone Road has been declined by the Gisborne District Licensing Committee.

Another application, also opposed, by Padda Enterprises has been withdrawn by the applicant.

Gisborne Liquormart had applied for an off-licence at 349 Gladstone Road, on the corner with Carnavon Street.

The licensing committee was told that the company had two directors, Sahil Sharma and Aman Singh, both of whom were directors of multiple other companies.

They were actively expanding the number of Black Bull liquor stores in the country; currently there were more than 40 of them in New Zealand.

The application was opposed by Turanga Health Community Action, Ka Pai Kaiti Trust and a number of private objectors. Their grounds included the fact there were numerous other outlets in the area, including the two major supermarkets.

The application was heard on June 12 by the district licensing committee, Pat Seymour (chairwoman), Ken Lyell and Diane Taylor.

In their reserved decision, the committee said there were adverse effects of an additional off-licence premise in Gisborne, in an area immediately adjacent to a number of other off-licences, and which was not supported by the community — along with evidence of current adverse impacts linked to alcohol.

On balance the committee believed the negative aspects outweighed any positive impacts from this licence application, and they had determined to decline the application. The committee found that due consideration had not been given to the Local Alcohol Policy with respect to the location.

The police had drawn attention to heavy foot traffic past the location, including Boys’ High and Girls’ High pupils walking to and from school.

While Mr Sharma had said school pupils would not be allowed into the premise while in uniform, former deputy mayor Nona Aston said in evidence that students were not silly and would take plain clothes to school and change into them before entering the premises.

The committee considered the availability of multiple off-licences and multiple fast-food outlets within 500 metres of the proposed location, finding they adequately provided for the needs of the community.

The committee also noted that a resource consent for the premises, which was already granted, had reduced the number of parking spaces required from 10 to four. While this matter was outside its responsibility, it drew attention to this inconsistency with the planning requirements.

Padda Enterprises had applied for an off-licence at 308 Gladstone Road. The applicant was seeking to operate a branch of its Big Barrel chain of liquor stores.

The application was also opposed by Kapai Kaiti and the Medical Officer of Health.

Ka Pai Kaiti manager Tuta Ngarimu said everyone at Ka Pai Kaiti was inspired by the outcome of the liquor licensing committee’s decision.

“We represent people who are sixth and seventh generation who have a heart for their community and care about the harm that’s currently destroying the place we all call home.

“This decision tells us that we as a community do truly have a voice and that when we speak out about issues we will be heard. We welcome any initiatives that contribute to growing our community, not initiatives that have negative impacts.”