Liquor store to open at school's entrance

By Numia Ponika-Rangi
Wickman Way Price Cutter owner in Māngere

A licence has been recently granted for a liquor store to be opened directly across the road from one of Auckland's largest school complexes, Southern Cross Campus in Māngere.

Southern Cross Campus includes a Preschool, Junior, Middle and Senior School with approx. 2000 students enrolled.

Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae and its roll of nearly 300 students, is also within close proximity to the store.

The new store will be housed directly above the current Price-cutter dairy, both owned by the Janjua-Singh family, long-time business owners in the neighbourhood.

Mr Jagjit Singh says their operational hours ensures the store will be closed between 3pm-4pm.  He also says they received full support from the community, from neighbours, the church and school with their application for the licence.

Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae Associate Principal, Mark Rangipuna, says otherwise.  That his supporters are not based in the community, and have no idea of the repercussions the store may bring.

Mr Rangipuna also says that the school community will continue to fight this store to keep it away from their school.

As a former Manukau City Councillor, Labour MP Su'a William Sio had advocated to not have alcohol sold within 100 metres of schools, early childhood centres, churches and community centres.  He says the licencing committee has made the wrong decision.

MP Sio is hosting a public meeting today at the Ngā Tapuwae Community Hall at 6pm, with Labour leader David Cunliffe attending, where this issue will no doubt be raised.

Other concerned community members, including the Ōtāhuhu Māngere Youth Group, have also planned to rally outside the school's entrance on Saturday morning to voice their concerns.