Community wins ruling on licence
Cannons Creek’s Mix Tavern has been refused a liquor licence.
The Bedford St community celebrated last Thursday when the decision was made after a second day of hearings in front of the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.
‘‘Elated, just elated for the community,’’ was how Cannons Creek Opportunity Centre manager Lepeti Tea described her feelings. ‘‘It’s high-fives and hugs all over.’’
Opposition to the pub has been strong – 400 people attended a July public meeting on the issue and 1900 signatures were gathered on a petition protesting the tavern.
Protest marches preceded both hearings, last week and on October 14.
Objectors disliked the proximity of the pub to child and health care centres, and the impact it would have on Cannons Creek’s alcoholics and gamblers.
Judge Hole’s comments on his decision were not published as we went to print, but those involved said the strong opposition had a significant impact.
‘‘I think the biggest thing is the community has been allowed a voice to determine what’s needed in our com- munity and what would have negative impact,’’ Ms Tea said.
Whanau Centre manager Liz Kelly agreed the decision was a win for the whole community.
‘‘It’s an awesome victory. It was crucial that we stop this,’’ she said.
‘‘It just shows you that if you mobilise the people and they feel strongly about something, you can stop it.’’
More than a dozen objectors attended last Thursday’s hearing but the police and Regional Public Health’s statements were so convincing Judge Hole did not call anyone else to speak, Ms Kelly said.
Mix Tavern owner Naginbhai Neil Patel said the judge was influenced by the presence of so many opponents to his pub.
‘‘ I’m very distressed and unhappy,’’ he said.
There are 11,000 people in Cannons Creek and the vast majority did not object to the Mix, Mr Patel said.
Ms Kelly’s campaign against the pub has cost the community a social hub and employment, he said.
‘‘I think Liz Kelly has spoiled 20 people’s jobs, in my view, and the life and enjoyment of the people in the area.’’
Without the ability to sell alcohol, Mr Patel’s bar/ restaurant was not financially viable, he said.
Treasure chest: Cannons Creek resident Renee Waihi, left, with Jasmine Taankink of Porirua Koha Shed.