Countdown really can’t catch a trick these days…they stand accused and under investigation for stand over and bullying of suppliers and now local councils are reporting on their alleged standover tactics with respect to liquor licensing in small towns.
A giant supermarket chain is allegedly pressuring small Kiwi towns to extend booze stores’ trading hours against the communities’ wishes.
One Waikato mayor says Progressive Enterprises’ approach is “aggressive” and “extremely arrogant.” He said his council was being bulldozed by the threat of expensive legal action which could see stores selling alcohol from 7am till 11pm.
Progressive has confirmed it is taking a national approach to enforcing 7am to 11pm opening hour, saying there isn’t enough evidence of alcohol-related harm to reduce hours.
Several councils around the country are being taken to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority by Progressive over the opening hours stipulated in their provisional local alcohol policies, many of which were adopted last year.
At the time, the medical officer of health for the Waikato District Health Board, Dr Richard Wall, put out a press release warning about the supermarkets “threatening expensive legal action,” saying “it was never the intention of Parliament that big businesses call the shots.”
Waipa, Thames-Coromandel, Waimakariri and Tasman District Councils are among the group while tiny Hauraki District Council is also in the sights. Â Read more »