Liquor li­cence bat­tle fi­nally over

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

An ap­peal to the High Court for a pub in Can­nons Creek to re­ceive a liquor li­cence has been dropped at the last minute.

The de­ci­sion by The Mix tav­ern owner Nag­inbhai Pa­tel to pull out of an ap­peal two weeks ago, the day be­fore the hear­ing was to start, de­lighted Porirua Whanau Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive Liz Kelly.

‘‘It’s a great win for our com­mu­nity and while it’s cost a lot of money [in le­gal fees], we think it was well-spent,’’ she said.

‘‘It is im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge that oth­ers in the com­mu­nity took up this fight, mo­bil­is­ing against some­thing that they con­sider wasn’t wanted in their midst, but we con­tin­ued it on.’’

In 2013, Pa­tel ap­plied for a liquor li­cence for The Mix, on the site of the Graf­fiti Bar in Bed­ford St. He had owned the build­ing since 1992 and re­fur­bished and mod­ernised it.

The hours he sought for the li­cence were to be 10am un­til 1am Mon­day to Satur­day, and 9am un­til 10pm on Sun­days.

the po­lice, Rus­sell School, Porirua Whanau Cen­tre and Re­gional Pub­lic Health were among ob­jec­tors when The Mix went to an Al­co­hol Reg­u­la­tory and Li­cens­ing Au­thor­ity hear­ing in De­cem­ber 2013.

More than 1900 sig­na­tures were gath­ered on a pe­ti­tion protest­ing the tav­ern.

Kelly said many peo­ple might not have re­alised Pa­tel had ap­pealed, and it took some time to be heard, through post­pone­ments and other is­sues.

She would not com­ment on the le­gal costs for Porirua Whanau Cen­tre in the past two years, but did say the cen­tre would be seek­ing court costs from Pa­tel.

Pa­cific Health, Free­dom Church and Jenny Lester, for­merly of Porirua Healthy Safer City Trust, ob­jected to the ap­peal un­der Porirua Whanau Cen­tre’s um­brella, Kelly said.

‘‘Our [Whanau Cen­tre] board be­lieved we needed to fol­low this to the end. This tav­ern needed to be stopped be­cause oth­er­wise it was a waste of time for ours and other com­mu­nity ser­vices to be op­er­at­ing with the chal­lenge of safety is­sues that came with it be­ing next door.’’

It was the se­cond sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tion to be de­feated in Porirua east in three years, af­ter Thirsty Liquor, op­po­site Rus­sell School, closed in April 2013 fol­low­ing wide­spread op­po­si­tion to its open­ing hours and ad­ver­tis­ing.

PHOTO: AN­DREA O’NEIL

Op­po­si­tion to The Mix in 2013 in­cluded a protest march to Porirua District Court on the day of the liquor li­cence hear­ing.

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