Thursday, 12 December 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Green light given for fifth bottle store in Whitianga

The Thames-Coromandel District Licensing Committee (DLC) has approved an application by Kaloti NZ Limited to for an off licence premises at 23 Albert Street, Whitianga on Thursday last week. The premises will be Whitianga’s ninth off licence premises and fifth bottle store.

The decision was issued last week after a hearing on Monday, 16 September, during which the DLC heard from multiple objectors, the Medical Officer of Health and the Thames-Coromandel Alcohol Licensing Inspector.

A total of 16 members of the public opposed the licence, which was granted with a number of conditions. The DLC noted that eight of the objectors were linked to existing bottle stores in Whitianga.

The conditions of the licence stipulate that no alcohol of certain types may be sold, including spirit-based shots of any type, ready to drink beverages (RTDs), light spirits up to 13.9% alcohol by volume, mainstream beers under $25 per dozen, single sales of beer or cider under 500ml (excluding craft beers) and cask wine.

The permitted hours of operation will be Monday to Sunday 10:00am to 8:00pm and the licensee is required to have available a reasonable range of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverages.

Addressing the hearing, the sole director and shareholder of Kaloti NZ, Gurinderpreet Singh, said he had lived in Whitianga for six years but worked in a bottle store in Coromandel Town and he did not want to contribute to further alcohol related harm. He supplied lists of what he deemed high risk products, which were ultimately excluded from sale by the terms of the licence that was approved.

He said his intention was to focus on premium wines, spirits and craft beers.

Nicole Zeier, the delegated officer for the Medical Officer of Health for the Waikato District Health Board, opposed the application and said her office held then view that an additional off licence in Whitianga would increase the availability of alcohol and create an environment that would result in competition and competitive pricing. She suggested it was questionable if there was a need for a ninth off licence premises in Whitianga.

The Thames-Coromandel Alcohol Licensing Inspector who reported on the application, Chase Aorangi Te-Rea Cook, opposed the grant of an off licence as he believed the amenity and good order of the area would be reduced by more than a minor extent. He said a ninth off licence would reduce the number of stores per capita in Whitianga to 1 to 485 persons, more than twice the national average of 1 to 1,000.

In granting the licence for a period of 12 months, the DLC found, on balance, that a specialty wine, craft beer and spirits outlet that did not sell shots, RTDs, and cheap beer and wine would not reduce the amenity and good order of the locality by more than a minor extent. They also noted the observations from Whitianga Police Sergeant Andrew Morrison that Whitianga does not experience the same issues as other seaside towns, reported crime was down on the previous year and there were no significant breaches of the town’s alcohol ban.

The Kaloti NZ licence will be issued ten working days after the date of the DLC;s decision, if no appeals have been filed.

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