Super Liquor stores in Dunedin and Mosgiel were temporarily
closed recently by the Liquor Licensing Authority after staff
sold alcohol to a 16-year-old girl.
The girl bought a bottle of wine from each outlet during a
police controlled purchase operation on February 24 last
year, held to coincide with the University of Otago
Orientation Week toga party.
The authority suspended the off-licence of Super Liquor
Mosgiel for 24 hours from 7am on January 4, as well as the
off-licence of Super Liquor Dunedin for 48 hours from 7am on
December 28 last year.
It was the second such suspension for Super Liquor Dunedin,
which was closed for 24 hours in January 2009 for selling
alcohol to a person under 18 years of age during a police
Licensee Trish McCarthy, of Mosgiel, said she and husband Ken
had operated the Mosgiel franchise for almost 12 years and it
was the first time such an incident had occurred.
The couple have had the Dunedin franchise for more than five
Mrs McCarthy said the stores had robust procedures and staff
were well trained.
All employees went through a liquor licensing course to
receive general manager's certificates and underwent regular
training where they signed acknowledgments of procedure at
least quarterly, she said.
''Our staff are well aware of the rules and ramifications.
But unfortunately a couple of staff members have neglected to
follow procedure,'' she said.
Super Liquor Dunedin's off-licence was renewed by the
authority for a ''truncated period'' of 21 months from March
In its written decision following a hearing last month, the
authority said Dunedin police conducted the February
controlled purchase operation because university Orientation
Week was regarded as the highest risk week for alcohol abuse
by first-year students.
The toga party was organised by the Otago University
Students' Association and targeted first-year students.
''Young drinkers, many experiencing their first week away
from home, were in abundance as they made their way past
licensed premises. Obviously, Orientation Week poses
particular difficulties for holders of liquor licences and
appropriate measures are required to make sure that liquor
abuse problems do not arise,'' the authority said.
About 8.30pm, the 16-year-old volunteer bought a bottle of
wine from Super Liquor Mosgiel without being asked her age or
to present any form of identification.
An hour later, she bought another bottle of wine from Super
Liquor Dunedin, again without being asked her age or to
The Mosgiel cashier, who had been employed at the store since
December 2011, was dismissed as a result of the incident, the
Both the Dunedin store cashier and temporary manager at the
time of the sale were young and relatively recent employees,
''The licensee, who gives the impression of being a very
experienced and concerned licensee, was inclined to blame
inexperienced staff members for the problems that have
arisen,'' the authority said.
It said McCarthy Enterprises Ltd, of which Mr and Mrs
McCarthy were the sole directors, needed to address issues to
do with business expansion, staff supervision and
appointment, as well as procedures to prevent underage people
entering supervised premises even before they attempted to