No liquor li­cence will not mean shut­ting up shop

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Pukerua Bay Store will not close in the event it loses its liquor li­cence, as only 3 per cent of its in­come is from al­co­hol, says Porirua po­lice liquor li­cens­ing of­fi­cer se­nior sergeant Steve Sar­gent.

As Kapi-mana News re­ported last week, the store is fight­ing to re­new its li­cence in the wake of a crack­down in the last three years by po­lice and the Liquor Li­cens­ing Au­thor­ity.

In that time Pikarere and Kr­ishna’s dairies in Ti­tahi Bay, and Pau­ata­hanui Gen­eral Store have lost their li­cences and are still op­er­at­ing, so Pukerua Bay Store owner He­mant Pa­tel need not worry, Mr Sar­gent says. ‘‘He won’t have to close down.’’ He says most of Mr Pa­tel’s in­come is from cig­a­rettes.

There is no ques­tion Mr Pa­tel is a fit and proper per­son to have a liquor li­cence but po­lice are fol­low­ing the let­ter of the law which states most of a shop’s sales have to be gro­ceries to qual­ify for a li­cence, Mr Sar­gent says.

‘‘It’s not like we’re on a cam­paign or a ven­detta. We’re just ask­ing them to jus­tify the sale of liquor on their premises.’’

Milk, mag­a­zines, fizzy drink, cig­a­rettes and clean­ing prod­ucts do not count as gro­ceries un­der the law – it has to be food items peo­ple would cook for din­ner.

Pukerua Bay Store can ap­ply for ex­emp­tion on the ba­sis they are re­mote from other shops but that ex­cep­tion is in­tended for places like Lake Ferry or Castle­point, not sub­urbs like Pukerua Bay where a su­per­mar­ket is five min­utes’ drive away, he says.

‘‘We’re talk­ing places way in the wop wops, off the beaten track,’’‘ Mr Sar­gent says.

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