Have your say: Objecting to an alcohol licence in your community

Alcohol abuse and harm is one of New Zealand’s biggest problems and contributes to social issues like domestic violence, poverty and homelessness. 

According to research by Health Promotion Agency, harmful drinking can also cause serious health problems and is one of the main preventable risk factors for a number of diseases, such as cancer, mental health and long term preventable health issues. 

Alcohol harm reduction is one of the key areas Healthy Families South Auckland is  focused on. In 2018, the organisation partnered with Community Action on Youth and Drugs and Auckland Council’s  Democracy Services to try understand the District Licencing Process. 

Healthy Families South Auckland Lead Systems Innovator, Nicola Ross says the insights gathered were a real opener on what’s happening in South Auckland.

We were able to identify the magnitude of the alcohol presence in South Auckland and the overproliferation of alcohol stores.

Twenty eight year old Student, Rosie Faumoina grew up in Manurewa and agrees that there are more bottle stores in South Auckland than in any other suburb in Auckland. 

“There is a bottle shop on nearly every corner, you won’t see that in Botany or the North Shore,” Faumoina says.

Evidence shows the more alcohol stores there are, the more harm there is in that community.

One of the ways people can participate in the decision making around alcohol in their community is by having their say on the sale and supply by objecting to new liquor licences. 

Ross says communities have been trying to participate in the district licencing process because they did not want any more alcohol stores in their neighbourhood, but this was often a difficult process to understand and follow. 

“What we heard was they didn’t know how to participate in objecting to a liquor licence or they didn’t know the process existed or  that they could have a say in the matter.” 

Healthy Families South Auckland partnered with NO SIX Creative Agency to produce a short video to simplify the district licencing process. 

The video resource provides the public with information on how to object to a liquor licence being issued in their community. 

Ross says she hopes the video will raise awareness and give people the tools and information they need to successfully object to liquor licencing in their area.

“By doing this, we ultimately create more health promoting environments in South Auckland.”

For more information on the links mentioned in this video see click below: