Alcohol rules to get a shake-up
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.