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Groups oppose alcohol sales at Auckland’s new Countdown store

A bid to sell alcohol at Auckland’s new supermarket has failed after some locals raised concerns about the effects on the most vulnerable people living in the community.

The new Countdown Metro store is located in the suburb of Herne Bay and cost $50 million to build.

Three groups, including the Waitemata Local Board, made arguments against the liquor license – but there were no objections from Auckland council or health officials.

Communities Against Alcohol Harm secretary Grant Hewison told 1News that there were vulnerable communities who lived near Herne Bay who would be affected by the new supermarket.

“It’s the affluent, leafy suburbs to the north, but to the south there are very vulnerable communities,” he said.

The supercity neighborhood has a median home price of over $3 million.

“Vulnerable communities have been found to experience greater alcohol-related harm…just as as a society we have to be very careful, when we sign new off-license licenses, that we don’t make this problem worse. .”

In Herne Bay, several stores already sell alcohol near the new supermarket. By contrast, in West Auckland, supermarkets are banned from selling alcohol with limits on new liquor stores and bars.

Council documents show that the licensing inspector and the medical officer of health had no objection to alcohol sales continuing.

Hewison said his concern was whether adding another liquor store to the area would further increase damage within the community.

A Countdown spokesperson was unavailable for an on-camera interview, but said it was still working on obtaining a license. Meanwhile, the street view of the suburbs was mixed when 1News polled residents.

The supermarket’s next liquor license hearing is due on August 11, and a committee is expected to make a decision after the hearing.