Al­co­hol rules to get a shake-up

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Auck­land’s rules on liquor are be­ing put un­der the mi­cro­scope.

The draft Lo­cal Al­co­hol Pol­icy has been re­leased by Auck­land Coun­cil and points out Queen St, Fort Lane and Pt Cheva­lier as trou­ble spots.

The pol­icy pro­poses Auck­land be split into three ar­eas – broad ar­eas A and B and a ‘‘pri­or­ity over­lay’’ for ar­eas with high in­ci­dences of al­co­hol­re­lated harm.

Coun­cil­lor Ge­orge Wood says Auck­land has to prove it is not re­liant on al­co­hol to have a vi­brant nightlife.

Down­town Auck­land has a vi­o­lent booz­ing rep­u­ta­tion.

In 2011 and 2013 re­spec­tively, Billy Daw­son and Tarun Asthana both died af­ter they were kinghit in al­co­hol-fu­elled in­ci­dents in the CBD.

Wood, a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer, says bet­ter pub­lic transport is needed to shut­tle ‘‘prob­lem peo­ple’’ out of the CBD be­fore as­saults oc­cur.

But the $150,000 needed to sub­sidise late night buses is ‘‘a bud­get item we don’t have’’.

Bet­ter age iden­ti­fi­ca­tion meth­ods are needed to stop clubs from be­ing caught out by un­der­age drinkers, Wood says.

He says the al­co­hol pol­icy will aid neigh­bour­hoods se­verely im­pacted by bot­tle stores.

Un­der the pro­posal, trad­ing hours would be cut back for all three ar­eas.

The ‘‘pri­or­ity’’ area in­cludes Queen St be­tween Welles­ley and Vic­to­ria streets, Fort Lane and Pt Cheva­lier.

Max­i­mum trad­ing hours of 9am to 3am are pro­posed for both the pri­or­ity area and broad area A which cov­ers the rest of the CBD, Pon­sonby and New­ton.

Some in broad area A who have a good track record and high stan­dards may be el­i­gi­ble for a twohour ex­ten­sion.

But op­er­a­tors in the pri­or­ity area would not be given an ex­ten­sion.

The rest of Auck­land is lumped into broad area B.

Strict on-li­cence trad­ing hours of 9am to 1am for the area are up for dis­cus­sion.

Off-li­cence liquor re­tail­ers across Auck­land, such as bot­tle shops and su­per­mar­kets, would only be al­lowed to sell be­tween 9am and 10pm.

New off-li­cences in neigh­bour­hood ar­eas would be sub­ject to re­view.

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