Three liquor outlets in the Tararua District have come under fire for selling alcohol to underage teens, despite being shown their correct ID.

The illegal purchases were uncovered during a controlled sting by police and other agencies, in the Tararua District, involving two teenage volunteers, aged 16 and 18.

The operation targeted 17 bottle stores and bars in Eketahuna, Dannevirke, Woodville and Pahiatua.

Of those shops the teenagers approached, one failed to ask the youngsters for their ID and were sold alcohol as a result.

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At two other shops, the pair were able to buy alcohol even after showing their correct ID - showing they were not legally old enough to be buy booze.

Senior constable Karl Williams, the alcohol harm prevention officer in Tararua, said police and the agencies - the Tararua Council Licensing Inspectors and public health representatives - were not impressed.

"All agencies are disappointed with the results, given that some of the premises checked had sold alcohol to underage people without even asking for ID,'' Williams said.

"Our focus that we have on preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm in the community - particularly among vulnerable young people - will continue with further operations planned.''

Williams said the three liquor outlets involved would all be fully investigated; with further action through the district court or the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority to be considered also.