Two appeals have been lodged against a reduction in the hours supermarkets and other off-licences can sell alcohol in Whanganui.
In June, the Whanganui District Council set a provisional local alcohol policy to halt sales of alcohol for off-licences at 9.30pm rather than the current 11pm.
But the council is now negotiating with two appellants - Foodstuffs North Island Ltd and Liquorland Ltd - with an Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority hearing set down for July 23 next year.
"We'll have to see what the resolution is," Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said.
Among the conditions under appeal are the licence hours, location of new off-licence premises and the cap on the number of off-licences.
The topic also raised its head at Tuesday's council meeting when Amail Habib addressed councillors as part of the public forum calling for alcohol not to be sold in supermarkets at all, or to at least be hidden from public view.
"It's very convenient to buy liquor through the supermarkets which makes it worse," he said.
"Whanganui is a low socio-economic area and liquor is a luxury and not a need."
He said alcohol consumption led to violence, addiction, damaged property, drink driving and crime, and impacted people's health.
Habib argued having liquor in supermarkets normalised its consumption.
"Because I have seen children picking up liquor when the parent are busy talking.
"My suggestion is liquor should not be sold in supermarkets and should be restricted to liquor stores only.
"Or there should be separate counters, not visible to the public, like tobacco.
"People smoke more, they don't start hitting their wives. People drink more, they do."
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said: "My only positive comment would be that it is a social lubricant and drunk in moderation it should be okay.. But of course, you're addressing the abuse of alcohol rather than the sale of it."
Councillor Charlie Anderson said it should be about personal responsibility.
"Why should responsible drinkers - I'm not suggesting for one moment that I am - but why should a responsible drinker be penalised for the actions of irresponsible behaviour?"