Fast food retailer Wendy's has given up trying to sell booze at its Hornby outlet, but campaigners fear it'll just try somewhere else.
Wendy's wanted to sell alcohol between 8am and 11pm, but was strongly opposed by the Salvation Army and other locals, who presented a hundreds-strong petition against the plan.
"We have benefited from constructive discussions had with the police, Medical Officer of Health and the inspectors as part of this application, and with their help have identified a number of refinements we can make to our business that will enable us to better serve alcohol in a safe and responsible manner," Wendy's chief executive Danielle Lendich said on Thursday.
Anti-drug campaigner Prof Doug Sellman of the National Addiction Centre said granting Wendy's a licence would have promoted the "further normalisation of alcohol".
"This could be the thin edge of the wedge for all that type of premises. It could actually herald further proliferation."
The victory could be short-lived, with Wendy's planning to try again.
"I presume that Wendy's decided that Christchurch was too well-defended, so they'll scheme about applying for a licence for one of their 21 other outlets," says Prof Sellman.
Wendy's bid was the first in New Zealand by a fast-food chain to sell liquor.
Eric Turner, director of the Salvation Army's Hornby branch, said he was "extremely happy".
"This is such a win for the local community. Nothing positive would have come of the local Wendy’s selling alcohol in Hornby. We already have too many outlets selling alcohol."
When Wendy's first put in its application last year, Labour MP Megan Woods used council maps to show there were already 17 stores selling alcohol within a kilometre of the Hornby outlet -- including six off-licences.