Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dance til dawn, well, 4am anyway

photo: Stuff events

Auckland Council today heard the provisional Auckland Council Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) – Hearings Panel recommendations and voted to approve them. They have extended the club hours beyond their original 1am suburbs/3am city closing times.

Radio NZ reports that "Sales at off-licences and supermarkets are being reduced to 12 hours a day - between 9am and 9pm [currently 7am-11pm].

Opening hours for bars and on-licences in the city will remain until 4am while, outside of the city centre, the closing time will be 3am.

The policy also introduces a two-year ban on new off-licences in areas deemed most at risk of alcohol harm."

The Council's original proposal, prior to public consultations and submissions (2,600 of them) last October, was for 3am closing for inner city and Ponsonby, and 1am closing for suburban bars with off-licences limited to sell alcohol to between 9am and 10pm, including supermarkets.

Given that "off-licences sell 40 times more alcohol between 9 and 10pm than bars/nightclubs do between 3 and 4am in Auckland" (source; "Restriction on Hours of Trade for Alcohol Licensees in Auckland" - Economic Impact Assessment for Auckland Council, 2013), the Council's decision to restrict their hours to 9pm seems like a good one.

The next step will be for the Council to hear any appeals (expect the supermarkets to weigh in), before this comes into effect.

More: Tell the new prohibitionists: dancing is good for you! (Aug 2014)

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