‘Sink­ing lid’ re­mains

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil is strongly sup­port­ive of re­spon­si­ble drug and al­co­hol man­age­ment and is in­volved in var­i­ous pro­cesses: The new leg­is­la­tion around con­trol of gam­bling venues, the new Sale and Sup­ply of Al­co­hol Act; and our lo­cal Liquor Ac­cord Group. Gam­bling: Coun­cil has just re­viewed its Gam­bling Class 4 Venue By­law. We have re­tained the con­cept of ‘‘sink­ing lid’’, which means that if a li­censed premises closes for six months or more, the li­cence be­comes void and the dis­trict ef­fec­tively drops the num­ber of venues by one. A good ex­am­ple of the ‘‘sink­ing lid’’ con­cept work­ing in prac­tice is the Ox­ford Royal Ho­tel in Ti­rau which closed in Novem­ber last year; it has been more than six months so any new op­er­a­tor won’t be able to have gam­ing ma­chines at the venue. Ef­fec­tively there is one less premises and 18 fewer ma­chines in the dis­trict now.

Another re­cent amend­ment un­der the Gam­bling Act is that there needs to be more trans­parency around where the money comes from and where it goes. In sim­ple terms ma­chines are owned by Trusts. Ap­prox­i­mately one third of the in­come goes to tax, one third back to the Trust for things like ad­min­is­tra­tive costs and premises rental charges and one third back to the com­mu­nity – from where the fund­ing came.

Be­cause gam­ing Trusts make do­na­tions to na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions, it is dif­fi­cult to track the level of spend back to in­di­vid­ual com­mu­ni­ties. The change in leg­is­la­tion means that there needs to be more trans­parency around this is­sue. Liquor: There are two ar­eas of Coun­cil in­volve­ment here.

Coun­cil is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the lo­cal Liquor Ac­cord Group. This group is driven by the liquor premises own­ers/op­er­a­tors in the dis­trict ( in­clud­ing clubs, bars, su­per­mar­kets and bot­tle stores). Coun­cil, the Dis­trict Health Board and Po­lice sit on the Group to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on leg­is­la­tion changes, health in­ci­dent sta­tis­tics and po­lice (crime) sta­tis­tics and trends. The aim of the Ac­cord is to fo­cus on their re­spon­si­bil­ity for the sale and sup­ply of al­co­hol. It is driven by the premises own­ers with Coun­cil’s full sup­port.

The Sale and Sup­ply of Liquor Act was en­acted last De­cem­ber. The key changes are that all liquor li­cences will now be ap­proved by a newly in­tro­duced Dis­trict Li­cens­ing Com­mit­tee. This com­mit­tee con­sists of peo­ple who must be com­pe­tent, re­spected by the com­mu­nity (have stand­ing) and have rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence. Coun­cil has ap­pointed Coun­cil­lors Machen, Glu­cina, Gash and Shat­tock to this Com­mit­tee. Coun­cil­lor Shat­tock was ap­pointed as chair­per­son. The Dis­trict Li­cens­ing Com­mit­tee sits in­de­pen­dent of Coun­cil. It does not re­port to Coun­cil. Pre­vi­ously liquor li­cences were ap­proved by Coun­cil staff with some sent to the Liquor Li­cens­ing Au­thor­ity (LLA) for ap­proval..

SINK­ING LID: There are 18 fewer ma­chines in the dis­trict since coun­cil in­tro­duced the Gam­bling Class 4 Venue By­law.

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