A third liquor store could be opening in Shannon despite community opinion that it would be harmful to the small town.

If approved, it's estimated the Horowhenua town would have a liquor outlet for every 412 people - more than twice the national average.

Shannon's current liquor outlets are saying "this town isn't big enough for the three of us", with one owner worried they could be put out of business.

Horowhenua District Licensing Committee (HDLC) granted an off-licence for a liquor store in Shannon earlier this year.


Liquor is already being sold at the Four Square and the Club Hotel.

Five Shannon residents were unsuccessful in opposing the third licence being granted in March, but resident Corrine Smith is not giving up and appealing the decision.

She believes the Police and Medical Officer of Health's reports were incomplete by not considering the objections and including information concerning public health, social deprivation and alcohol harm in Shannon.

"The ratio for Shannon is currently one off-licence for every 619 people. That means Shannon already has [more] off-licences than the national average of one licence per 1000 persons. A third off-licence would bring the [Shannon] ratio down to one for every 413 people," Mrs Smith said.

Foxton liquor store owner and Shannon's new off-licence holder Gagandeep Bagga said he intended to fill a gap in Shannon's market.

"The existing bottle stores of Shannon have limited variety of products. I intend to provide a store where people can walk into the chiller, browse the aisles, and choose what they would like," he said.

Mr Bagga said he is a responsible operator.

"I propose to impose strict management disciplines to ensure that my staff are vigilant in checking customer IDs, not serving intoxicated or minors as per law. Anyone who looks under the age of 25 will be asked for an ID immediately.

The windows will be kept clear of any promotional signage. I would be installing a TV which will have a slide show of pictures promoting responsible drinking. I have no intention to provide cheap liquor and I don't believe in entering into any type of price war against my competitors," said Mr Bagga.

Shannon's Club Hotel owners Brian and Cynthia Bishop tell the new alcohol outlet they won't go down without a fight. Photo / Ashleigh Collis
Shannon's Club Hotel owners Brian and Cynthia Bishop tell the new alcohol outlet they won't go down without a fight. Photo / Ashleigh Collis

Horowhenua District Council deputy mayor Ross Campbell said a straw poll showed the majority of the town didn't want the liquor store.

"If the appeal is turned down the power [still] goes to the people of Shannon. If they don't want the store, then they shouldn't use it and eventually it will shut," he said.

Shannon Four Square owner Corey MacMillan feels the wrong decision has been made.

"I thought the laws were aimed at minimising the harmful effects of alcohol. How do you do that by opening another new bottle store in our small town?

That's got me beat. At Four Square we know our community and we have fair prices. The only way they will get traction will be selling really cheap alcohol and nothing good with come from that," he said.

Brian Bishop and his wife Cynthia have owned and operated Shannon's Club Hotel for the past 20 years. With the addition of yet another bottle store in Shannon the couple are worried what the new store will do to their community and their business.

Mr Bishop said between himself and Mr MacMillan they know the community and have it "pretty well under control".

"The drinking pattern is changing. Young kids get cheap grog and drink at their friend's houses or illegal bars. They go from house to house drink driving and often drink in public until they run out of alcohol then drive to get more. We offer the safest environment for people to drink, but if this new store opens there is a big possibility that we will be put out of business," he said.

- Shannon Community Alcohol Appeal, Thursday November 10, Levin District Court, 10am.