Cocktail of liquor law changes mooted
AMONG THE CHANGES
Auckland’s rules on liquor are being put under the microscope.
The draft Local Alcohol Policy has been released by Auckland Council and is open for feedback until July 16. It proposes Auckland be split into three areas – broad areas A and B, and a ‘‘priority overlay’’ for areas with high incidences of alcoholrelated harm.
Avondale and Onehunga have been flagged as priority overlay areas which suffer from high alcohol-related harm. Nearly 4000 liquor licences operate across Auckland, including about 2500 onlicences and more than 1000 off-licences. The proposed changes include:
Auckland Council would gain greater control over issuing licences
Councillor George Wood says Auckland has to prove it is not reliant on alcohol to have vibrant nightlife.
Wood, a former police officer, says the central city
It would be harder to establish a new licence – both off-licences and higher risk on-licences – in broad area A and priority locations
Broad area B would have stricter rules for neighbourhood centres
Initiatives would be rolled district is rife with alcoholrelated harm.
Better public transport is needed to shuttle ‘‘problem people’’ out of the CBD before assaults occur, he out to move premises to larger centres
Club licences would be extended between 9am and 1am says. But the $150,000 needed to subsidise latenight 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.
Maximum on-licence trading hours of 9am to 3am are proposed for Avondale.
The same rules would apply to broad area A, which covers the rest of the CBD, Ponsonby and Newton.
Some on-licences in broad area A which have a good track record and high standards may be eligible for a two-hour extension.
But operators in Avondale would not be given an extension.
The rest is lumped 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. of Auckland into broad