Booze shop protest
FOUR Mt Roskill schools are banding together in an effort to stop another liquor store being established in their suburb.
A liquor licence application has been made for an empty shop on McKinnon St, directly opposite Hay Park School and Waikowhai Intermediate.
The two schools, along with Waikowhai Primary and Mt Roskill Intermediate, have written to the district licensing authority to voice their concerns.
Hay Park principal Margaret Aikman says the school already deals with high levels of vandalism, mainly from groups of people drinking alcohol on school grounds, smashing bottles and damaging property.
“There is a large number of bottles left around in Keith Hay Park and in the school grounds.”
She says there is a liquor store in Mt Roskill South that is less than a kilometre away from the proposed new store.
“We just don’t need it. We’re already well served in the community.”
Ms Aikman also started a petition against the application, which attracted around 250 signatures from parents and local residents.
“It’s absolutely not something we want.”
Mt Roskill Intermediate principal Mike O’Reilly also says another liquor store is unwelcome.
He says the school spent around $100,000 last year cleaning up vandalism.
“It’s beyond a joke.”
Mr O’Reilly says whenever there is a serious incident, crates of bottles are found nearby, linking alcohol and vandalism.
Waikowhai Intermediate School principal Howard Perry and the board of trustees wrote to oppose the licence.
“How many liquor outlets does a suburban community need?” he says.
The school has measures in place to prevent vandalism, but has suffered in the past from alcohol-related damage.
Waikowhai Primary principal Fintan Kelly says all the schools in the area will be affected by more accessible alcohol.
“The big problem is people drinking after hours and where will they go to drink? Places like parks and schools.”
Auckland City Council liquor licensing and street trading team leader Sarah Noble says the application has been assessed by an inspector and will be sent to the liquor licensing authority in Wellington.
“We’re really grateful for people objecting because if it wasn’t for them it would have been granted immediately by the district licensing authority.”
The Wellington authority will make a decision on whether the application is granted, denied or approved with conditions.
Ms Noble says the time it takes to come back with a ruling depends on how soon the application can be set down for a hearing, which may take a couple of months.
Not wanted: Hay Park School principal Margaret Aikman with the petition against a liquor store being set up in these shops.