The renewal of a small Napier's bar's liquor licence is being opposed because there might not be enough drinking on the premises.
The objection to the tavern licence of Maraenui Golden Chance, a gaming venue and bar established more than 20 years ago incorporating the TAB which had been in the Maraenui shopping centre since the 1970s, was lodged in early November by Napier city councillor Maxine Boag, also a gambling opponent and whose Nelson Park Ward includes Maraenui and neighbouring suburbs.
It was supported by fellow Nelson Park Ward councillor Api Tapine and two others, and while there are not thought to have been any licence breaches, the application is also being opposed by police, the District Medical Officer of Health, and the council's district licensing inspector.
The District Licensing Agency (DLA) has sought trading figures to establish whether the bar, TAB and gaming machines site is operated not so much as a bar but more as a gambling venue, and may not be eligible under current legislation to continue as a tavern.
A hearing by a District Licensing Committee, which can include city councillors, has not yet been scheduled but if needed is likely to take place in April, city council staff said.
Neither Boag nor proprietor Mere Nepia, who in 2014 stood for council election and missed a Nelson Park seat by just eight votes, were available to comment pending a hearing.
But the basis of the opposition has been confirmed by police, health and council staff.
Maraenui Rugby and Sports Association president Vicky Julian said her organisation supported the granting of the licence when the TAB was relaunched as the Golden Chance about 1998, and its support remains "absolutely… 100 per cent".
Concerns at the time included the struggles Maraenui organisations had accessing gaming trust grants without a venue in the community, compared with much easier access in more affluent areas where there were gaming venues.
She said gaming machine trusts and the Golden Chance, the only such venue in the Maraenui area, had supported the club and its sports, as well as schools and other causes.
The Council confirmed the objections were the only ones against a licence renewal in Napier in the last year.
In Hastings last year there was an unsuccessful objection to a new licence for a bottle store in Flaxmere, with opposition led by Hastings District Council Flaxmere Ward member Henare O'Keefe.