West Auckland weighs up its liquor laws

By D'Angelo Martin

There has been growing demand from the local community of West Auckland to make alcohol more accessible for purchase. 

However, it is acknowledged that the current restrictions have their benefits.

A petition has attracted more than 22,000 signatures asking to have alcohol re-introduced into West Auckland supermarkets.

In other areas of Auckland alcohol is cheaper, more accessible and there are a lot more options for purchase.

John Tamihere CEO o Waipareira strongly believes in the restrictions that have been put in place are beneficial, but says the decision is for the community.

"If this petition succeeds, alcohol will be allowed to be sold through the supermarkets as it is elsewhere so that change will occur over the next ten years," he says, "The petition that's been driven at the moment, I wish it all the best but we will see how it rides."

Alcohol restrictions in West Auckland were common throughout Auckland in the 19th century and the 20th centuries.

"It goes back to our old prohibition days, West Auckland is the last of three communities that have continued to give their mana to a trust to control liquor outlets"

So what does the community have to say? 

"Maybe it's a bad thing because it will be accessible like everywhere, we have so many homeless people and I think they'd be camping outside the supermarkets, to be honest," says one local.

"It doesn't seem to do much good within South Auckland does it?" says another.

"At the end of the day, if people want this to happen, people need to vote in this year's election," says yet another civically-minded local, "If they want a change they need to get off their bum and vote, and if they don't?  Well, sookie bubba."