Booze and kids bad mix
An early childhood centre located metres from a proposed business development which includes a liquor store, says it was not consulted about the plans.
During last week’s South Waikato District Council Corporate and Environment Committee meeting a resource consent for a 24-hour Gull Service Station, a gymnasium, Dominos Pizza, two retail shops and a liquor store, was approved.
The site is located next to the Tokoroa Youth Park on O’Sullivan Drive. Te Ara Metua Punanga Reo Kuki Airani licensee Metua Tangaroa- Daniel- Malietoa was stunned at the plan’s approval.
‘‘Did I miss that? My goodness, and right next to the youth park. Last year there were murmurs (about this), but I did not know that it had been approved,’’ she told South Waikato News yesterday.
‘‘That’s interesting because that is news to us,’’ she said.
Mrs Tangaroa-Daniel-Malietoa said the centre had not been approached about the proposed outlets.
‘‘Definitely not. When Countdown came in for resource consent we opposed that simply because of the impact on traffic. The pools are right there too.
‘‘The point of the matter is we are a small organisation on the lower socio economic end and we are saturated by liquor outlets. Our main concern is always the safety and welfare of the children.’’
Mrs Tangaroa-Daniel-Malietoa said a plan for the site that involved youth would be more appropriate.
‘‘When you have the youth park there, you would think that something more to do with youth would be better. They (youth) are our future generations. We definitely do not approve this.
‘‘Council needs to take on board what the community is saying. It is meant to be leading the way,’’ Mrs Tangaroa-Daniel-Malietoa.
During last week’s meeting Mayor Neil Sinclair said council had no legal power at this stage.
‘‘Until the Liquor Reform Bill comes in, our hands are tied. Is The Tokoroa Youth Park will now neighbour an alcohol store after resource consent for a number of outlets on the street was passed in council last week. that right? Or can we do anything?’’ he asked council staff.
Council’s environment group manager Sharon Robinson said: ‘‘This particular application was in the previous report. This appli- cation has now been approved.’’
‘‘The only reason (they) needed the consent, keeping in mind all of those activities, is for the Gull Service Station. The service station was the only thing ( that) needed consents,’’ she said.
Mrs Robinson said staff looked at the impacts of traffic and noise.
‘‘All of the neighbours, residential properties . . . they all gave their consent. So, legally we cannot look at any effects that could occur on the neighbouring properties,’’ she said.
Council has not yet received a liquor licensing application from the developer, David Fermah.
OPPOSED: Staff and children of Te Ara Metua Punanga Reo Kuki Airani look out at the proposed business site which will house a service station, retail shops and a liquor store.