KA Pai Kaiti trustees are elated with the news the on-licence for the TAB in Kaiti Mall has been declined.
“Don’t underestimate the will and the power of the people,” said Ka Pai Kaiti manager Tuta Ngarimu.
“We are so blimmin’ happy over here.”
Mr Ngarimu said he expected the decision would be appealed, as there was so much money at stake for the owners.
“They take hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the Kaiti community each year, and our community can’t afford to part with that sort of money.”
The decision from the Gisborne District Licensing Committee released yesterday said it declined to grant a renewal of the on-licence for Kaiti Club Hotel, the Kaiti sports bar located at Kaiti Mall, because they were not satisfied the application met the objects of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.
The underlying licence will expire on December 31.
Earlier this month, the committee heard from counsel Robert Davies on behalf of the applicant, manager Mohinder Nagra, to renew the on-licence for Kaiti Club Hotel, formerly known as the Kaiti TAB.
The licensed premises operates at Kaiti Mall and includes gambling facilities.
Mr Davies said the applicant met the requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and there had been no evidence otherwise.
But the committee disagreed. The lack of appropriate food choices to meet the conditions of the on-licence was a matter of some concern to the inspector, the report said.
The committee also noted the presence of a number of pre-schools, kohanga reo, a primary school and a church in the immediate vicinity.
Opposition to the renewal came from members of community trust Ka Pai Kaiti.
They said their “sick’’ suburb of high social deprivation did not need Kaiti Club Hotel, which appeared to operate more as a gambling venue rather than a licensed tavern.
Trust chairwoman Aporina Chapman said she was extremely proud the community’s voice had been heard, and the trust had stood up for deep-seated Tairawhiti values.
“Let’s not allow exploitation of our community. Our community is small enough that we should all be holding hands and supporting each other.
“We are absolutely delighted with the decision and we know that our tamariki will be safer because of it. Equally, we are deeply satisfied that the community has had a say, and has been listened to.”