The long-running fight against a Flaxmere bottle store renewing its liquor licence is fizzing, as residents prepare to take the matter to court.
The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority will on Tuesday hear the case against Flaxmere Liquor continuing to operate.
It comes more than seven months after directors Sukhpal and Chamkaur Singh applied to renew their Swansea Rd bottle store's licence.
Hastings councillor for Flaxmere and Hastings Ambassador Henare O'Keefe, who has front-footed a petition against the store continuing to sell alcohol, said "enough is enough".
Four liquor outlets in a low socio-economic area such as Flaxmere was "criminal", O'Keefe said.
"It's not adding value to Flaxmere whatsoever."
"All the statistics are there and everyone knows what the problems associated with it are."
Counsel acting for Flaxmere Liquor and the Singhs, Pervinder Kaur, said while there is no "presumption" that an application for a licence will be granted or renewed, her client was a "suitable licensee, with sufficient staff and reasonable systems, and the premises and locality" in "an appropriate site for a licensed store".
She said the premises has been operating "without complaint" since 2008.
"There has been no reported instances of nuisance, noise or vandalism associated with the business.
"The people of Flaxmere are just as entitled to be able to purchase alcohol from a local retailer in a safe and responsible way, just the same as anyone else in Hastings or New Zealand generally."
Whakatu community leader Des Ratima said the impact of the bottle store on the people of Flaxmere was a concern for him.
"I feel a real moral and cultural responsibility to stand up, say something and fight strongly to oppose it," Ratima said.
"It is now left to communities and people like myself to say, in the absence of any direction from council we have actually got to stand up and say no."
Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Pastor Nigel Woodley submitted an objection and echoed the concerns raised.
"I'm making a protest on principle that we have enough liquor outlets out there in Flaxmere."
Woodley says it is "nothing personal" against the owners, but it is an "opportunity to make a point".
Jacoby Poulain said she hoped the process would achieve a good outcome for the community.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said the Hastings District Licensing Committee, which falls under the Hastings District Council, referred the application to them because of O'Keefe's "potential conflict of interest".
Hawke's Bay District Health Board's Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said they did "not identify any new concerns with this renewal".
Dr Eyre submitted to the District Licensing Committee that there was general community concern about alcohol-related harm in Flaxmere and a hearing should allow for the community to express their concerns.
She said she and the Hawke's Bay District Health Board recognised general concerns around off-licence alcohol outlet density would best be managed by an effective local alcohol policy.
The hearing will be held at 10am on Tuesday, April 9 in courtroom 4 at the Hastings District Court.