A proposed bottle store in the Wellington suburb of Khandallah has garnered more than 500 objections - possibly the highest number in the country.

Meanwhile in the neighbouring suburb of Johnsonville there are plans afoot for a liquor store next to a Work and Income office.

The proposals have attracted the attention of Mayor Justin Lester who is strongly opposed to both.

Objectors to the Khandallah application did not want a bottle shop situated in the heart of the village alongside community services like the post shop, library and Plunket rooms.


People have also doubted a commercial need for the bottle store with a supermarket across the road and several on-licence venues in the vicinity.

"In a space of a couple of weeks to get that many objections I think is just amazing and really shows the depth of feeling in the community", Onslow-Western ward councillor Diane Calvert said.

The application for the new off-licence premise said it would be open seven days a week between the hours of 9am and 9pm and located in the village's old video store.

Alcohol Healthwatch executive director Dr Nicki Jackson said the number of submissions was unprecedented.

"I've never heard of that number of objections about a liquor outlet before certainly we've had them in a hundred to 200 but not at this scale."

Harm from liquor outlets was greatest in poorer suburbs but it could extend across all boundaries, she said.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, alcohol licensing consultant Joanne Howard said the site would be intimate in size and the product range designed to appeal to the local market.

"The applicant has sought to open an off-licence premise in an affluent, safe and family-friendly community. His due diligence of the area has recognised Khandallah as being a good place to create such a business."


The applicant wanted to hear community views regarding the proposal and where possible was eager to respond to concerns, Howard said.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean put the strong opposition down to people in Khandallah actively organising against the store.

"This is easily the biggest amount we've had in recent years or indeed in living memory".

But the city's District Licensing Committee would follow case law and only consider submissions valid if they were from within a one kilometre radius of the proposed store, MacLean said.

"We would probably expect several hundred of those submissions to be ruled invalid particularly because there from points afar such as Paremata, Tawa and Newlands."

Wellington mayor Justin Lester says it's an absurd idea to have another liquor outlet in Johnsonville. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
Wellington mayor Justin Lester says it's an absurd idea to have another liquor outlet in Johnsonville. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

The application to open a liquor store in Johnsonville next to a Work and Income office has attracted 17 submissions.

Ministry for Social Development regional commissioner Gagau Annandale-Stone said their preference would be for another retailer to be next to their service centre, not a liquor store.

The applicant did not want to comment.

But Mayor Justin Lester, who lives in Johnsonville with his family, has weighed in.

He has submitted against the proposal both personally and in his capacity as mayor.

"It's an absurd proposal to have another liquor outlet, and we already have several in Johnsonville and also in the surrounding suburbs, right beside a Work and Income New Zealand office beggars belief really.

"It's not something that I want to see in my community and I know there's strong support for opposing it."