Anger at new liquor store


A discount liquor store is planned to open near Washington Valley and Victory after it was initially granted resource consent last month.

But the new store, to be opened on Gloucester St, has met some opposition with the Victory Community Centre and at least one Nelson City councillor objecting to the move, which comes just months after a liquor store opened at Victory Square.

SRS Ghuman & Sons – owned by Palmerston North man Ranbir Singh – was granted consent in late January, but a consultation period for the consent, which closes on Thursday, has already attracted 13 submissions.

Mr Singh has previously seen a community in Kapiti successfully oppose the opening of one of his liquor stores, as they tend to push “high volume, low priced” RTD drinks. The name given on the council plan is Big Barrel, which operates in several cities in the North Island, although Big Barrel says it knows nothing about a store in Nelson.

Kindra Douglas, director of the Victory Community Centre, says there are already enough liquor outlets in the area and she is against another setting up shop.

“We don’t like the idea of yet another liquor store, we believe that there are more than enough outlets. We have two supermarkets, the Post Boy Hotel, Liquorland and the new liquor store in Victory, all within a one kilometre radius,” she says.

“I’m really tired of the complete normalisation of an addictive and destructive substance.”

In December, Victory Liquor Centre opened, and Kindra says she’s surprised that the council is granting consents before its own alcohol policy has been finalised.

“I’d be very disappointed if this was granted. I think they should delay it until their own policy is absolutely clear and they have a full endorsement for it.”

The council is deliberating its alcohol policy this week after the hearing of submissions.

Councillor Matt Lawry and his wife Tania Norfolk also wrote a submission against the new liquor outlet, and they say there are enough liquor stores in the area. “We do not want to see Nelson make the same mistake other communities have made by allowing liquor stores to proliferate. There have been a lot of studies into alcohol-related harm, and the findings of them show that if you increase the density of liquor stores you increase alcohol related harm.”

Chair of the planning and regulatory committee, councillor Brian McGurk, says there is still a long way to go before the store opens its doors, with an application for an off-licence to sell alcohol still needing to be approved, but he didn’t want to comment on this particular situation until he has more details on it.