Duncan Garner: Booze outside a school - who said this is OK?

13/06/2014

Sign Duncan Garner's petition against this decision here!

The idiots at the Auckland District Licensing Committee have just approved the establishment of a stand-alone liquor store across the road from a large Auckland School.

Thirsty Liquor will be immediately opposite the Southern Cross Campus in Mangere - which educates pupils from years 1-13.

There are plenty of places to put booze outlets, so why across the road from a school? It doesn’t make sense.

It is one of South Auckland’s biggest schools. It has 1500 5-18 year-olds and it has a preschool with about 45 attendees.

What’s worse is that this decision was made despite submissions of objection from the school, the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board, the Liquor Licensing Inspector, the Medical Officer of Health and the Mangere Family Service Centre.

In exchange for the granting of the license, the superette which the owner also has across from the school, must now stop selling liquor.

Amongst the reasons the committee gave in giving permission to set up the liquor store is that the nearest other place to buy booze is 1 km away. So what? Children come before booze. Is that really an imposition on the community? No, of course not.

The decision ignores the former Manukau City Council's guideline that liquor stores shouldn't be within 100m of schools.

If this store was being proposed outside the entrance of a school in Epsom or Khandallah or Fendalton - what would the committee's decision be? I wonder if it would be different?

It’s a crazy decision - the school is appealing - but local politicians need to speak up about this and do something about it. This is their job - this is their bread and butter – they need to listen to communities and react appropriately. But the community in this instance has been ignored. That’s shameful.

Booze can ruin lives. The last place we should be selling it is across the road from a school, especially when no one wants it there.

source: data archive