Bars bring in curfew to ease booze ills
A group of Palmerston North bars has volunteered to close an hour earlier each night in an attempt to reduce the harm too much alcohol creates in the city.
A dozen bars have agreed to reduce their trading hours and close at 2am from May 8.
The move is an attempt to change drinking patterns where people pre-load before hitting town after midnight, already well under the influence.
Those involved are The Daily, The Office, China Inn Restaurant and Bar, Shooters Bar, The Cobb, The Fish Cocktail and Wine Bar, Bubbles Champagne and Wine Bar, The Royal, Masonic Hotel, Willow Park Tavern, Murphy’s Law, Trader McKendry’s and Cue Bar.
Group spokesmen Ricky Quirk and Gary Wright said the move was a response to police analysis that showed alcohol-related callouts kept them busy, particularly in the early evening and at night in suburban areas.
The bars wanted to encourage people to come to drink on licensed premises, where behaviour was supervised.
The move is supported by police, public health and the city council, but not by all young people.
UCOL student Kieran Jaggard said students would hate it.
He said they preferred to have a few drinks at home – as it was cheaper – before going out after midnight.
Closing earlier didn’t leave much time to enjoy the bars
‘‘It doesn't make sense. It will mean more house parties and street parties.’’ Kieran Jaggard, student
before they would be out on the street.
‘‘It doesn’t make sense. It will mean more house parties and street parties, and the police don’t want to deal with that.’’
But former council and mayoral candidate and student Abi Symes said people would adapt.
‘‘I think it’s awesome they have done this voluntarily and together. We need to work on this binge drinking culture.’’
Palmerston North alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Brendon Gerrish expected the idea would reduce people’s chances of becoming victims or offenders due to too much drink.
He did not believe asking people to leave bars earlier would cause any problems.
Bars missing from the list, such as the Celtic, Rosie O’Grady’s and the Brewers Apprentice, said they all closed before 2am anyway.
The Royal is one of the Palmerston North bars that has agreed to close at the earlier hour of 2am.