Groups oppose liquor sales at Countdown's newest Auckland store

Source: 1News

A bid to sell alcohol at Auckland's newest supermarket has hit the rocks after some locals raised concerns about the effects on the most vulnerable people living in the community.

The newly-opened 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 submissions against the liquor licence - 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 that lived near Herne Bay, that would be affected by the new supermarket.

"It's the wealthy leafy suburbs to the north, but to the south, there are very vulnerable communities," he said.

The supercity neighbourhood has a median house price of more than $3 million.

"Vulnerable communities have been found to experience greater alcohol-related harm… just as as a society we need to be really careful, when we are signing new off-licences, that we are not making that problem worse."

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

Council documents show both the licensing inspector and medical officer for health had no objections to liquor sales going ahead.

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

A Countdown spokesperson wasn't available for an on-camera interview but said it was still working on getting a licence. Meanwhile, the view on the street in the suburb was mixed when 1News queried locals.

The next hearing into the supermarket's alcohol licence is due to happen on August 11, with a committee expected to make a decision following the hearing.