A Countdown metro supermarket to open on Cable Car lane is causing tension, with Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford opposing its bid for a liquor license.
The university is joined by the police and the Wellington regional medical officer of health in expressing opposition to the license.
In a submission to a Wellington District Licensing Committee hearing, Guilford said that the supermarket selling alcohol in close proximity to nearby halls of residence would lead to more complaints from the community about students’ behaviour.
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“Alcohol is at the heart of virtually all these complaints,” Guilford said. “You can draw a straight line between alcohol harm and the two supermarket chains in this country.”
Guilford expects that students and young people would use the Cable Car to buy alcohol and drink it in Kelburn Park. “The ability to jump on the Cable Car and zip up [the hill] is a risk.”
VUWSA President Jonathan Gee said the university’s decision to oppose the ban is not addressing the problem, and if they are concerned about student drinking they should focus on “creating a positive culture in halls,” and on restorative measures such as supporting students and talking to them about their drinking.
Gee is concerned about the effect that the punitive measures of the university and the unfavourable media coverage is having on students. He would like the university to consider what kind of “picture is being painted to students” about its attitude towards them.