A Rotorua bottle store has been ordered to close for 48 hours this long weekend after selling alcohol to a 16-year-old.

The Sunset Bottle-O on Sunset Rd, Mangakākahi, will be closed from 8am today until 8am on Monday while Jas Holdings Limited's licence is suspended for 48 hours from 10am on Saturday until 8am on Monday.

Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority chairman Judge Kevin Kelly, at centre. Photo / File
Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority chairman Judge Kevin Kelly, at centre. Photo / File

District Court Judge Kevin Kelly, chairman of the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority, ordered this weekend's closure in a decision last month.

Police evidence said that at 5pm on February 16 last year, a 16-year-old male was sold a box of 18 Woodstock Bourbon and Cola and a box of Waikato Draught beer for a total of $56.98.

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"The minor was not asked his age nor for identification," Judge Kelly's ruling said.

He entered the store with patched gang members but management said they were "not acting in fear".

Rotorua police came across the minor concerning another matter and discovered he had alcohol and had consumed some of it.

They spoke to Bottle-O on Sunset Rd and CCTV footage showed the alcohol being sold to the minor "without him being challenged".

The directors of Jas Holdings Ltd, Charanjit and Amarjeet Dhillon, said "the sale occurred through human error" and "left them upset and disappointed".

They said it was the first failure or issue they had had in their 12 years' experience in running off-licence premises.

Jas Holdings operates five off-licence premises in Rotorua.

They said "identification is always asked for if a customer looks under 25 years of age" and they still could not understand what had happened.

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The Dhillons said they would "continue to work hard and improve further where they can".

"They have put in place a policy where the premises are effectively 'restricted', with under 18-year-olds not being allowed entry."

They also said their manager, Namdeep Singh, was "hardworking, honest and reliable".

"He understands the repercussions this mistake has for everyone involved ... and has been working hard to ensure he undertakes identification checks in store."

The Dhillons said Singh's employment was not in jeopardy.

Singh said he was "greatly embarrassed and upset" and expressed remorse.

Sunset Bottle-O on Friday, ahead of this weekend's closure. Photo / Stephen Parker
Sunset Bottle-O on Friday, ahead of this weekend's closure. Photo / Stephen Parker

Kelly gave credit to Singh and the Dhillons for co-operating with police "fully", the fact the Dhillons had 12 years without breaches, and for "voluntarily imposing what is in effect a 'restricted' designation to the premises".

"For all intents and purposes the Dhillons are good operators," he said.