South Auckland Liquor Licence application withdrawn in response to community opposition:
The Mangere East community has scored a groundbreaking victory for the area with the decision of Vegie Oasis to withdraw their application for a liquor licence at their Massey Rd store.
The vege storeowner Kanmin Qian was unaware of the concerns of the community before the licensing hearing, in which dozens of objectors were heard. He was moved by the stories from the local community and wanted to discuss how they could work together.
In a meeting presided over by local MP Su’a William Sio, the opponents argued that easy access to alcohol from a large number of suppliers in the area would exacerbate the existing serious problems of alcohol-fueled violence and anti-social behaviour in their vulnerable community.
Already enduring a staggering 222 liquor outlets throughout the Mangere-Otahuhu & Otara-Papatoetoe area, residents felt that 'enough is enough' and no more alcohol licences should be granted.
Community leaders explained that an extra liquor outlet was likely to undermine the many good efforts to develop a positive sense of community in Mangere East. They argued that retailers should offer products and services that help uphold social values and community wellbeing, and not contribute to the 'normalisation' of alcohol.
In the wake of the recent decision to grant a liquor licence for a new fully equipped liquor store outside a Mangere East high school - Southern Cross Campus, despite strong local opposition, Mangere East residents expressed their determination to step up efforts to oppose future licence applications which are seen as detrimental to their community.
After listening to the concerns of the community, Mr Qian expressed his desire to operate a business that would help to foster the health and wellbeing of the local people, and would make a positive contribution to the community. He said that he is committed to being a socially responsible business owner and take the lead by removing alcohol from the shelves of a local grocery store, so that children are no longer exposed to alcohol sitting alongside everyday food items. His announcement is greatly appreciated by community representatives and Mangere MP Su'a William Sio, who counter-signed Mr Qian's statement.
Auckland Council Democracy Advisor, Matthew Foster, has since confirmed that Vegie Oasis had withdrawn their application.
(Healthy Communities, MEDIA RELEASE: 6 November 2014)