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Great Taste Ltd sought permission to sell liquor at its St Andrew St buffet restaurant, but company director De Qin Wang admitted at a hearing last month the business had previously sold alcohol without a licence.
The Dunedin district licensing committee decided it was ‘‘left with some concerns about the applicant’s suitability’’ for what is essentially a temporary licence.
Temporary authority to sell liquor is needed when a licensed premises changes hands, allowing the new owners up to three months to prepare their application for an on-licence, but Great Taste operated for months without such authority.
The July 20 hearing proceedings were relayed to Ms Wang through an interpreter and she told the committee she forgot to fulfil her obligations.
Ms Wang bought the business in November last year and licensing inspector Tony Mole found out about the ownership change in May this year.
The restaurant then stopped selling alcohol.
Ms Wang, of Invercargill, and Jun Lin Li are the company’s shareholders.
The partnership successfully applied for temporary authority to sell liquor when they took over KwangChow Cuisine in Dunedin in 2015, the committee noted.
Great Taste will still have a chance to make its case for an on-licence.
It has submitted its application and the committee noted its decision about temporary authority was not a predetermination about what would happen at the on-licence hearing.
A hearing date has yet to be set.