Both of Hawera's supermarkets slapped with booze ban


The only two supermarkets in Hawera, Taranaki have both been slapped with five-day alcohol bans following a June police sting in which underage volunteers were not asked to produce ID.

Both Countdown and Pak 'n Save will be banned from selling alcohol between 7am on Saturday, November 12 and 7am on Thursday, November 17. 

Locals will have to shop at one of the town's four liquor stores, which all passed the test, or head out of town to buy alcohol.

Morriesons Cafe and Bar has also been issued a 48-hour suspension, from 8am on November 12 until the morning of November 15.

The guilty outlets were all caught in a Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO); a joint effort by police, the Taranaki District Health Board and South Taranaki District Council.

None of the three outlets that failed had asked the underage volunteers to produce ID. All three were first-time offenders in breaching their liquor licenses.

Hawera police Sergeant Andrew Russ says he was disappointed in the mistakes, but says the penalties will "certainly affect the supermarkets and their bottom dollar, one good factor out of it will be that the standalone bottle stores that actually passed the Controlled Purchase Operation that day may make some hay while the sun shines.

"I wouldn't expect any of the managers involved to be making this mistake again."

James Walker, a Countdown spokesperson, says he too is disappointed that the supermarket had failed the operation.

"We want to apologise to our customers for getting this wrong," Mr Walker said, adding that they are "striving to get this 100 percent correct".

Had the servers involved in the sting asked for ID, the volunteer would have produced an ID that showed them to be under 18.