Dannevirke: Off-licence application turned down

By Christine McKay

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David Lea.
David Lea.

Concerns about the effect another bottle store in Woodville will have on a community already dealing with a raft of socio-economic issues, has seen the application turned down.

Turning a former Woodville dairy into an off-licence on the town's main street isn't an option, the Tararua District Licensing committee has decided.

In declining the application from Prince Sharma, operating as Shiv Enterprises 2016, for a bottle store, to be known as The Liquor Store, licensing committee members David Lea, Maureen Reynolds and Kerry Sutherland took into account the 73 public objections and a petition with 106 names, as well as objections from Martin Macmaster, medical officer of health, and Karl Williams of the New Zealand Police.

Mr Sharma said he believed his business would fill a gap in the market because he was intending to sell more varieties of spirits, ciders and beers than were available at other off-licences. He said he didn't think it was realistic to speculate that the addition of a bottle shop in Woodville would give rise to disorder, vandalism or detract from the town's amenities.

Insisting he had no intention to sell party drugs, Mr Sharma said he would, however, be selling chips, pies, non-alcoholic drinks and cigarettes.

Currently there are four off-licences in Woodville, Clayton Locke, the Tararua District Council's licensing inspector, told the hearing. Mr Williams said the police believed the community would be detrimentally affected by the granting of the off-licence.

Present at the hearing, Reverend Rosie McMillian, Des Liddington, Jim Worboys, Glenys Pryde, Mary Rueben and John Priest all gave evidence showing Woodville is a deprived town with high unemployment and low incomes. The community is dealing with a number of social issues, including domestic violence, mental health and unemployment and the Reverend McMillian said about 70 per cent of the problems she helps out with have an underlying alcohol problem.

A University of Otago, 2013 social deprivation index scored Woodville as the second most deprived area in Tararua.

Ratio of off-licences to population:

* Nationally, one off-licence for every 914 people.

* In the Tararua District there is one for every 870 people.

* In the Woodville area, there is one for every 469 people (excluding Culinary Vista).

* Or one for every 352 people including Culinary Vista.

* There would be one off-licence in Woodville for every 289 people if Shiv Enterprises licence was granted.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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