No liquor licence will not mean shutting up shop
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.