The publicly-owned trusts, which hold a monopoly on alcohol sales in west Auckland, established a secret ‘fighting fund’ explicitly aimed at preserving that monopoly and attacking a volunteer community group advocating for a local referendum on the issue, Stuff reveals. The fund was, in the trusts’ own words, established to ensure “the public make the right decision” in any vote, but has now been closed. The trust denies they spend public money on keeping the monopoly. They are two of the just four remaining licensing monopolies left in New Zealand from a once-extensive network established in the 1940s to control alcohol supply.