Booze and kids bad mix

Neigh­bour un­wel­come

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By ADEN MILES

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.

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