The Waitakere Licensing Trust will retain its right to the sale of liquor in off license and tavern license venues in parts of West Auckland following an unsuccessful community petition.
Hundreds of charities, schools and local groups will benefit from the retention of the existing licensing model with the Trusts redistributing millions of dollars in profits back into the West Auckland community each year.
Linda Cooper, President of the Waitakere Licensing Trust, says despite the shortfall in petition signatures the Trusts have taken on board feedback from this sector of the community.
“The Waitakere Licensing Trust Board was notified today that the petition failed to achieve the required number of valid signatures. We want to acknowledge the hard work undertaken by the petition organisers over recent years and the passion they have shown for their community.
“While we welcome today’s news, we are listening to the feedback and we recognise the need to ensure we continue to earn local support.
“Changes to the current liquor licensing rules would almost certainly have led to a proliferation of liquor stores as we have seen in other parts of Auckland.
“We are continuing to focus on our mission of providing good alcohol access in a safe environment – while supporting our wonderful community groups who do so much good work in our community.
“Together with the Portage Licensing Trust, the Trust is taking steps to improve its offering,” she says.
Allan Pollard, CEO of The Trusts, says a new partnership with Liquorland has been announced, to open four outlets in Blockhouse Bay, Te Atatu Peninsula, Titirangi and Hobsonville so communities get the combined benefit of community oversight and competitive national pricing.
He says both trusts are will also increase their hospitality portfolio and upgrading all bars and retail outlets over the next couple of years.
“We are also targeting more and bigger charitable donations back to the community, of five to seven million dollars per year combined, and improved communication and engagement with the community,” says Pollard.
Both Trusts’ retail liquor stores and hospitality venues are 100% community owned, employing more than 300 people across West Auckland, and returning profits to their communities.