Amy Wiggins

Amy is the lifestyles reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Suspensions follow sting in Tauranga

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A historic Tauranga bottle shop has to close its doors for a day after a staff member sold alcohol to two underage buyers in a police sting.

Hillsdene Wine Cellars in Cameron Rd has had its liquor licence suspended for 24 hours from 7.30am on December 14 and Kevin Barrie Smith has had his general manager's certificate suspended for 30 days from January 7.

Western Bay of Plenty alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Nigel McGlone said an employee at the store sold a box of 15 bottles of beer to two underage people on October 19.

"No questions were asked - no ID or how old they were or anything," Mr McGlone said.

None of the other stores visited during the one-night sting allowed the teenagers to buy alcohol.

"They were the only premises that sold out of the 13 we tested that night.

"I was disappointed. They are not the sort of premises I expect that from," he said. "I don't suggest for a minute that that's how they consistently run their business. I think it was a lapse. The owners were very disappointed."

Mr McGlone said the owners agreed to the suspensions when he talked to them and did not oppose the police application to the Liquor Licensing Authority.

He said police conducted controlled purchase operations randomly and regularly.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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