Editorial: Unfair to pick on retailer

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The owners of the Merivale Liquor Centre have come in for criticism for selling the cheapest alcohol in the city.

On Saturday, the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reported the store's cheap alcohol and its opening hours from 9am to 10pm were causing concern in Merivale.

Merivale Community Centre chief executive Graham Cameron said the low prices and long hours of the liquor store were damaging the community. He compared the alcohol to a lingering cancer that was damaging the community.

Mr Cameron suggests a move to restrict a liquor store's opening hours in Porirua could set a precedent and have implications for Merivale.

That store was also forced to close between 2.45pm and 3.15pm on weekdays because of children travelling to and from a nearby school.

I agree with Mr Cameron's view that the abuse of alcohol causes problems in the community.

But it is not up to the owners of the Merivale Liquor Centre to address that issue.

They are operating within the laws of the land and it is unfair to single them out.

The Merivale Liquor Centre is not the only liquor outlet in town that offers specials on alcohol.

Supermarkets and other wholesalers do so too. Shouldn't we be pointing the finger at them as well?

The owners of the store are doing what all businesses do - trying to make a profit.

The issue of alcohol abuse is one that needs to be addressed at a higher level.

The Government should be the real target for concerns about the impact that alcohol has on the community, not small business owners, because it sets the law under which stores such as these operate.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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