A liquor licence application for a bottle shop in Merivale has been approved, despite community objections.
Merivale Liquor Centre has been operating on Fraser St, near the corner of Kesteven Ave, since 2006 but a change in ownership meant an application for a new licence had to be made.
The Liquor Licensing Authority granted Kiwi Wines N Spirits Ltd an off-licence application to trade between 8.30am and 10pm daily.
The authority's decision noted there had been three letters of objection "deploring the establishment of any further liquor outlets in the locality" but said there were no grounds to withhold the licence.
According to the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, when an application relates to a premise where an off-licence is already in force and seeks the same conditions, the only grounds for objection relate to the suitability of the applicant.
Neither police or Tauranga City Council opposed the application.
Western Bay of Plenty alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Nigel McGlone said he agreed there was no need for a bottle shop in that location but, under the current law, there was nothing that could be done.
"It's probably not a bad reason but not one that we can use as the law goes," he said.
"We probably do have more than enough places you can go and buy alcohol. It's been proven that if you restrict the availability of alcohol it does have an effect."
Mr McGlone hoped that by this time next year police and the community would have more say in liquor licence applications.
On December 11 this year, Parliament passed the Alcohol Reform Bill which, among other things, gave councils the power to formulate policies on opening hours, ban alcohol outlets near schools and impose conditions on licensed venues.
The changes come into effect on December 11, 2013.
The owner of the store could not be reached for comment.