How to have your say on Alcohol Licencing in your Neighbourhood

A new video is being made to help the community have their say on whether or not they want a new alcohol store in their neighbourhood.  

The current process to make a complaint involves checking online to see if a licence has been applied for or is being renewed.  People have fifteen days to write and say why they object to the licence. The next step is applicants can ask people who’ve objected to come to a legal hearing to share their concerns.   This can mean community members taking time off work, organising childcare and finding witnesses to support their case.

Healthy Families South Auckland’s Lead Systems Innovator, Nicola Ross, says objecting to alcohol licences is a difficult process for the community.   It is “often confusing, there is lots of jargon and people don’t know where to get help in making an objection”.

The new video, which is being made by Healthy Families South Auckland, will be around three minutes long and will be presented by Mangere mum of five, Maluatai Papali’i.

Cameraman Benji Timu (Production company No Six),  Nicola Ross (Healthy Families South Auckland) and Maluatai Papali’i who is the face of the new video “How to have your say on Alcohol Licencing in your Neighbourhood

Ross says 29 year old Papali’i was chosen to be the face of the video as she does a lot of community leadership work with the Healthy Families South Auckland One Love initiative and is part of the One Love Mamas group, Kotahi Aroha Fanau.

Alcohol harm was identified as an issue during a survey with the families living on four streets in Mangere around Imrie Park who are part of the One Love initiative.

Working with Papali’i on the video, the most important thing was to make sure she was comfortable and had fun.  Ross says Papali’i was a natural talent, articulate and “we wanted it to come from someone in the community so it was relatable”.

Papali’i says presenting the video was an interesting experience for her.

“When I was asked, I wasn’t that keen on it but then after I looked up what the alcohol licence process was like, I realised I don’t actually know much about this. It was good to look into it a lot more because I learnt a lot and I think people should know about this.”

Before being involved in the video project, Papali’i says she felt she didn’t have a say around objecting to new licences.  

“Having done this I’m more informed, I can make better decisions and I’m more alert for my kids’ sake.  I don’t want them to grow up and think it is normal to have heaps of alcohol stores around.”

Ross says that’s what she hopes people will get out of the video.  

“It is about communities having a say in decisions that affect their lives and creating healthy environments for themselves and their whanau.  This process is supposed to help the community to do that but currently it is hard for them to participate.

The video will be a mix of animation and information.  It will cover how to object, and show people where they can go for help if they want to make an objection to a licence.

The video has been made using down to earth language.  

“We wanted to make it simple and easy to understand language on what’s otherwise quite a complicated process,” says Ross.

The production company, No Six is producing the video which Ross says is a natural fit for Healthy Families South Auckland

“No Six is a young, Pacific led company and a social enterprise.  They will also be doing the animation for the video.”

The video will be shared as an educational tool at Community Law Centres and at other health and community organisations.