Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ak Council wants all clubs to close at 3am, no dancing til dawn

Via stuff.co.nz: "Auckland residents will have their say on a proposed crackdown on bar hours and alcohol sales across the city.

The Auckland Council overwhelmingly approved for public consultation on the controversial policy to close pubs and clubs at 3am in the city and Ponsonby, and 1am everywhere else ...

... Under the far-reaching alcohol proposal, bars would not be able to sell shooters, shots or many cocktails after midnight throughout most of the city and not after 1am in city and Ponsonby bars.

There would also be a cap on the number of off-licences operating in some Auckland areas. This could deny new supermarkets permission to sell alcohol in some suburbs. It is not just supermarket shoppers who could be affected by the proposed rules.

More than 100 DJs have set up a group, Dance Till Dawn, to protest against earlier closing times.

Auckland DJ Rob Warner, who is heading the group, said clubbers tended to be aged 30 and were are not to blame for booze-fuelled crime.

"The average club-goer is music motivated. They're not motivated by alcohol," he said. "We see a different scene from what the police report."

Closing clubs earlier would turn off international acts since clubbers would refuse to pay cover charges just to be sent home at 3am, he said.

The proposed local alcohol policy comes after new national 4am closing time for bars was introduced in December 2013.

Local council policies can override the national hours but Wellington's proposed 5am closing is being appealed by police and health authorities.

Auckland councillors voted 20-1 to support the proposal going out for public consultation. Following consultation, the council is expected to report back on recommendations by November. Any changes are unlikely to take effect this year.

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