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