Res­i­dents ‘say when’

Liquor store decision due

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Their ob­jec­tions were fi­nally heard last week – now they wait.

The hear­ing for the re­newal of the liquor li­cence for the Thirsty Liquor bot­tle store in Fan­tame St had its long- awaited read­journ­ment on Wed­nes­day. And un­like on Novem­ber 30 last year – when the Liquor Li­cens­ing Au­thor­ity sus­pended pro­ceed­ings due to ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in owner Chi­man Pa­tel’s busi­ness struc­ture – the res­i­dents and Rus­sell School staff got to have their say.

Mr Pa­tel con­clud­ing giv­ing ev­i­dence, con­firm­ing the liquor store and food­mar­ket were now op­er­at­ing as two sep­a­rate busi­nesses. He has down­graded his ad­ver­tis­ing around his premises and the liquor store is closed from 2.55pm to 3.10pm on school days.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion from Judge John Hole about his clos­ing times, Mr Pa­tel said, ‘‘If the au­thor­ity is go­ing to re­duce our hours, I ask that they re­duce the hours of other liquor stores as well.’’

Po­lice op­pose the ap­pli­ca­tion for a new liquor li­cence and Re­gional Public Health has called for the store’s hours to be cut and many res­i­dents do not want a bot­tle store op­po­site the school.

Rus­sell School board chair­man Matt Craw­shaw spoke of his al­co­holic neigh­bour ‘‘and her two nearly al­co­holic daugh­ters and the nu­mer­ous times we’ve watched days fu­elled by boxes of Cody’s [bour­bon and cola] end­ing up with all the win­dows in the house be­ing smashed’’.

Mr Craw­shaw said there was some­thing ‘‘crit­i­cally wrong’’ with a sys­tem that en­ables a li­cence to be ob­tained or re­newed for a bot­tle store di­rectly op­po­site a school.

Rus­sell

prin­ci­pal

Sose An­nan­dale said she reg­u­larly feared for the safety of staff and stu­dents from drunks and there was fre­quent van­dal­ism.

Ear­lier in the hear­ing, a po­lice an­a­lyst pro­vided data show­ing the num­ber of public dis­or­der calls to po­lice in a 500-me­tre ra­dius of Thirsty Liquor in the past five years. The in­stances were much higher than in a com­par­a­tive 500-me­tre ra­dius a few streets away.

Judge Hole, who praised the res­i­dents for their ef­forts, re­served his decision. Mr Craw­shaw was hopeful it would be made in the next few weeks.

Strong mes­sage: Like in Novem­ber, dozens of Porirua East res­i­dents marched from the canopies to the liquor hear­ing last Wed­nes­day adamant a liquor store in their neigh­bour­hood was not wanted.

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