We’ll drink to that, says RSA
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.
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.