CHB first to adopt new alcohol policy
Central Hawke’s Bay has become the first area in Hawke’s Bay to adopt a Local Alcohol Policy as councils continue a struggle with new reins-loosening legislation enacted almost six years ago.
The policy (LAP) which was adopted by the CHB District Council on September 20, comes into effect on November 1, with some elements taking effect on February 1, and stems from the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012 which was enacted on December 18, 2012.
The act enabled councils to develop guidelines to suit local communities, CHB limiting bar and restaurant licences to 8am1am, in comparison with 8am-4am under the act, and sticking with the legislation’s 7am-11pm template on off-licence sales, such as bottle stores, wineries, supermarkets and dairies.
Policies throughout the country have faced lengthy legal challenges, mainly from the supermarket industry over hours of trade for off-licences, meaning a joint LAP for Napier and Hastings — which was notified in 2016 — including a 9pm end to off-licence sales, is still not operating.
Posting 8am-3am maximum trading hours for taverns, bars, pubs and nightclubs, and offlicences’ sales hours of 7am to 9pm for supermarkets and 9am to 9pm for hotels, bottle stores, wineries, and groceries with licence, the policy has been challenged in an appeal to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA).
But it has also been held up by the challenges, which have ended with a supermarkets extension to 10pm.
The Napier City Council this year put a remit to the Local Government New Zealand calling for a rethink on the legislation, particularly about grounds on which decisions can be appealed.
The twin-cities policy would also mean no new off-licences for bottle store, supermarkets or dairies in designated residential suburbs Maraenui in Napier and Flaxmere and Camberley in Hastings.
Council chief executive Monique Davidson said the CHB policy is a result of a five-year process of public consultation, hearings and an appeal to ARLA.
“Like many territorial authorities, the path to the adoption of our Local Alcohol Policy has been long,” she said. “In August 2015, we published a Provisional Local Alcohol Policy that was appealed as a clause was inconsistent with the District Plan.
“Upon review, council accepted that the element was unreasonable because the District Plan places no such limits,” she said. The council followed guidance provided by ARLA to progress through the steps to finalise and adopt the Local Alcohol Policy.
New or renewed licences will be subject to the policy, which makes adjustments to the maximum default trading hours as set out in the act and introduces potential conditions such as a oneway door policy, generally limiting entry to premises in the last hour before closing.
“Our Local Alcohol Policy will provide additional tools to help encourage safe and responsible consumption and alcohol,” Davidson said. “To be the first council in Hawke’s Bay to have an adopted policy is an exciting step.”
New or renewed liquor licences will be subject to the policy.