531 PI
Niu FM
PMN News

Photo/Wikimedia commons

Law & Order

Power to the people: Analyst breaks down liquor law that's uplifting communities

A Salvation Army social policy analyst commends the Community Engagement Amendment bill for empowering communities to better contest liquor license grants impacting them.

Vaimaila Leatinu'u
Aui'a Vaimaila Leatinu'u
04 April 2024, 12:38pm
Copy Link

A social policy analyst says the Community Engagement Amendment bill has garnered positive outcomes since its establishment seven months ago.

Salvation Army Analyst Ana Ika says the bill "basically gives communities a greater voice in regards to objecting to alcohol licenses".

She says bottle stores and restaurants wanting to sell liquor must apply to the council for an alcohol license.

"Every license that gets applied for the community can reject it," Ika says.

"If there are too many bottle stores in your community or there's a bar across the road that's too rowdy and you don't want them to get their license again then you have the voice to object to it."

Ika says challenging the license is also less "legalistic" thanks to the new legislation.


"This bill came in to alleviate some of those pushes and give those communities a greater voice.

"Some of the things that the legislation removed was lawyers can't grill you when you're objecting.

"That was a huge issue because people from the liquor industry would bring these high-profile lawyers that would try and get objections thrown out."

She also says those contesting licenses often worked jobs where they could not take time off to attend long hearings. The bill however now provides them the ability to Zoom into the case through the internet.

"So this bill has given communities a platform to be able to stand on and have more mana in that process."

Ika says she does not think people know that this legislation or even contesting a liquor license is a thing people can conduct.

"I don't think people are aware that you can shut down that bottle store across the road from your house or that you can restrict what type of items they sell or what hours."

Watch the full interview via 531pi's Facebook page below: