We’ll drink to that, says RSA

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

A law change that al­lows RSA at­ten­dees to have a tip­ple on An­zac Day was given much­needed im­pe­tus af­ter a strongly worded voice­mail mes­sage to Kris Faafoi.

The Mana MP said he had to hold the phone away from his ear lis­ten­ing to the mes­sage last month from Porirua RSA pres­i­dent Roger Kings­ford.

Kings­ford was frus­trated about the RSA hav­ing to ap­ply to Porirua City Coun­cil for a spe­cial li­cence so al­co­hol could be served from 5am on An­zac Day. ‘‘Gun­fire break­fasts’’ – cof­fee and rum be­fore dawn ser­vices – have been an An­zac Day tra­di­tion since the 1920s.

The li­cence cost $207 in Porirua, but var­ied na­tion­wide.

‘‘I was frus­trated and maybe got a bit car­ried away with my mes­sage to Kris,’’ Kings­ford said.

‘‘We have a liquor li­cence al­ready, and fol­low it closely. But to have to pay ex­tra is on the nose.

‘‘I was go­ing to refuse to pay it, but didn’t want li­cens­ing au­thor­ity peo­ple on my doorstep on the 25th. I rang a few peo­ple and ba­si­cally said ‘get this sorted’.’’

Kings­ford said he had re­ceived a ver­bal as­sur­ance from the coun­cil the fee would be waived, but Faafoi took it to the next level.

Faafoi has a weekly New­stalk ZB slot with Na­tional MP Paul Fos­ter-Bell, who had a mem­ber’s bill sit­ting on the ta­ble. It amended the Sale and Sup­ply of Al­co­hol Act 2012, knock­ing the spe­cial li­cence on the head.

On April 6, with no mul­ti­ple read­ings in Par­lia­ment or se­lect com­mit­tee process, and with agree­ment from all par­ties, the bill was green-lighted in 90 min­utes.

Faafoi said it was an ex­am­ple of MPs across the House work­ing to change some­thing quickly.

‘‘Roger called me with the chal- lenge and credit to Paul [FosterBell], whose bill it was, and our fel­low MPs for see­ing this made to­tal sense. It’s made a lot of peo­ple happy.

‘‘Hats off to Roger for fight­ing to get it done.’’

Kings­ford said a packed RSA next Mon­day would be able to sa­lute its vet­er­ans law­fully.

‘‘Com­mon sense has pre­vailed here. It’s great that this de­ci­sion will be felt across New Zealand,’’ he said.

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Mana MP Kris Faafoi, left, and Porirua RSA pres­i­dent Roger Kings­ford are de­lighted a spe­cial li­cence that RSAs needed to serve al­co­hol on An­zac Day has been abol­ished.

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