Calls for halt on new liquor stores after rising assaults in cities

Radio NZ News 25 May 2021
The National Māori Authority is demanding a halt on licences for new bottle stores, after multiple highly-publicised assaults in Auckland and Wellington CBDs.

Māori Wardens patrolling the CBD say they are seeing multiple vicious, alcohol-fuelled attacks every weekend in downtown Auckland.

“It is getting worse. We need to do something about it very quickly,” Māori Warden Thomas Henry told Checkpoint.

He has seen some ugly scenes on the streets of central Auckland: fists flying, knockout blows, and people being rushed to hospital emergency rooms.

“There’s so much injury that’s happening in and around the CBD, because it’s all around the binge drinking.”

Access to alcohol in the central area is very easy, he says. “There’s so many liquor stores around the place.”

Downtown areas like Fort Lane in Auckland are hotspots for alcohol-fuelled violence, police say. At Fort Lane in 2020, multiple fights broke out in one night, and one person was knocked unconscious.

The people who patrol those areas say nothing has changed.

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