Store man­ager a ‘re­spon­si­ble host’

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - TA­MARA THORN

The man­ager of a newly opened Toko­roa liquor store says peo­ple shouldn’t be con­cerned.

The open­ing of Thirsty Liquor Toko­roa on Fri­day has caused con­cern from some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who say there are al­ready too many booze stores in the town.

But store man­ager Jas Singh said he had been a man­ager of 15 years and was a re­spon­si­ble host who knew how to look af­ter his store and cus­tomers.

The build­ing pre­vi­ously housed a liquor out­let, so he hadn’t needed to ap­ply for a new li­cence. ‘‘This is an ex­ist­ing store and we just took it over,’’ he said.

Singh said he un­der­stood why peo­ple might be con­cerned and that was fine.

But he said he wouldn’t be do­ing any­thing dif­fer­ently to what the pre­vi­ous own­ers had.

South Waikato District Coun­cil spokes­woman Kerry Fabrie said the coun­cil was aware of the harm­ful ef­fects al­co­hol on the com­mu­nity and they were do­ing a lot to min­imise harm.

The Coun­cil worked along­side or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Sal­va­tion army and fund so­cial ser­vices like Toko­roa Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices.

A few years back the South Waikato Liquor Ac­cord was cre­ated which the coun­cil fa­cil­i­tated and co­or­di­nated so mem­bers could col­lab­o­rate on liquor re­lated mat­ters.

The group meets monthly and in­volves peo­ple such as the Po­lice and the District Health Board.

Fabrie said while in­ap­pro­pri­ate or ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion of al­co­hol was an is­sue, there were also a vast num­ber of peo­ple con­sum­ing al­co­hol re­spon­si­bly.

Coun­cil en­vi­ron­ment health man­ager John An­der­son said that the com­mu­nity was well pro­tected against al­co­hol harm.

‘‘Our team op­er­ates an ex­cep­tion­ally tight regime dur­ing the li­cens­ing process.’’

Toko­roa has seven shops that sell al­co­hol, five more than Ti­rau and two more then Pu­taruru.

These in­clude bot­tle shops and su­per­mar­kets or gro­cery stores.

Toko­roa Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Hen­der­son agreed that there were are a lot of liquor stores in the town.

‘‘But as long as they com­ply to the liquor li­cenc­ing then that should re­duce risk.’’

He said with the Sales Liquor Act in place there should be no prob­lem.

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