Reduced hours for buying booze

Tauranga supermarkets could be forced to fence off their wine racks and beer chillers as the city looks at a proposal to reduce the hours for off-licences in the city’s suburbs.

Councillors at the Joint Governance Workshop decided off –licences’ hours under the proposed draft Local Alcohol Policy will be from 7am till 9pm. The default hours under the alcohol legislation that became law last year are 7am till 11pm.

Supermarkets may be forced to stop selling alcohol at 9pm.

The decision to knock two hours off will affect bottle stores, supermarkets and groceries stores.

 Some supermarkets in the city have licences that enable them to sell beer and wine until midnight, though they are not always used, says Tauranga City Council strategic planner Jeremy Boase.

Liquor outlets will continue to be able to open under their existing licence hours until the licence expires.

“There’s going to be overlap, but from the time the local alcohol policy is in force it’s going to be 9pm closing,” says Jeremy.

The decision was made at an informal workshop yesterday, and will become part of the formal policy that will be sent out for public consultation.

Councillors also decided that existing bottle stores will remain where they are for now, and that the numbers will remain the same, at least until the local alcohol policy comes up for its first review in six years’ time.

In discussion the councillors from Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Councils attending the Joint Governance Committee Workshop had more questions than answers.

Councillor David Stewart commented that councillors are being asked to make decisions regarding the numbers of liquor licences with no rationale or evidence to back them up.

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson said they had a mandate from the first round of public submissions clearly showing the electorate’s desire to limit the numbers of alcohol outlets.

The Medical Officers of Health’s submissions said that capping and reducing alcohol outlet densities is likely to have a positive effect in reducing alcohol related harm.

When David asked if they could back it up, he was told it was an association and that they would get back to him.

The councillors first had to decide to limit alcohol outlets, then how that would be achieved, whether by capping them at present levels, or keeping them at the present number per population, or creating a sinking lid as with the gambling machines.

Mount Maunganui Liquorland owner Lisa Parker told councillors a sinking lid decision would affect businesses and jobs. 

Lisa also told councillors how proximity of liquor stores to one another drives prices down and increases sales.

She says a price war with a rival outlet a kilometre away drove down prices and increased sales well past the summer peaks.

After hearing this councillors decided to keep bottle stores 500 metres apart.

Whether liquor outlets should be near kindergartens, primary or secondary schools and tertiary institutions were options that have also sneaked across from the Gambling Act, says Jeremy.

He was asked why primary schools in particular were included when their students don’t drink alcohol.

Councillor Larry Baldock also argued for removing places of worship from the list of businesses that liquor outlets should, as he says it is too restricted and anything including a house could be deemed a place of worship.




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10 Comments

@Drich

Posted on 22-05-2013 18:59 | By Sambo

very cynical, they made a momentous decision in one day, do not know what happened today though, so the good average may have been broken, seriously though, something has/had to happen, and at the very least this crew have made more progress, than any other by-law maker has done so far, but I will await the final outcome, sooner I hope than later.

Only A Draft At This Stage...

Posted on 22-05-2013 17:50 | By austinz

Readers should take note that any hours or conditions mentioned in these stories are just going to be proposals from council that will form a ’draft policy’ that will go out for public consultation and that’s when the community will be able to comment and make their own submissions....we would do well to make our voices heard no matter what our opinions on this subject....the final policy will reflect an overall view.

Informal Workshop?

Posted on 22-05-2013 13:04 | By DRich

What on earth is an ‘informal workshop’ involving councillors and, in this case, liquor policy? Is it like a ‘casual friday’ kind of deal, and they all sit around on cushions, puffing on the communal Hookah pipe, dreaming up neato, self-aggrandising, pretend policy decisions on hypothetical scenarios drawn from a hat? Is there a boardgame version available?

Agree

Posted on 22-05-2013 12:35 | By Blessed

with Traceys comment, but any where is a start, Heck these days we should have a licence to drink. so much damage is caused by alcohol, ID is hardly ever requested at many liquor stores, crack down on it hard, limit the number of stores per square KM too

Desperados

Posted on 22-05-2013 11:33 | By Spy

Who in the hell is so desperate they need to buy booze at 7 in the morning. Derelicts and Pissheads who are best not given the opportunity to buy.

Oh dear

Posted on 22-05-2013 09:39 | By Dr Gonzo

Nanny.State.

Not

Posted on 21-05-2013 22:52 | By Capt_Kaveman

good enough move the time from 7am to 11am and 11pm to 8pm

Comply or lose it

Posted on 21-05-2013 18:17 | By Johnney

To reduce the number of licences then if they get caught breaking the law then they lose their licence. Now wouldn’t that be simple and effective!

A start!!!

Posted on 21-05-2013 17:16 | By Sambo

and a decision has been made on the first day, an extremely positive, and good one it is to, and a line in the sand has been drawn, vendors have to suffer a consequence, for plying alcohol, and not picking up the bill for the carnage it causes, I have never been against people having a drink, it is only our mainly young,and immature,who seem to have so much easy access to alcohol, and reducing hours vendors may sell alcohol, could help!!!!, also the Government were spineless, when they had a prime opportunity, to raise the drinking age not long ago, now local bodies have been given a job to do, and by this decision, maybe the ones we have, may be actually doing something.

.

Posted on 21-05-2013 16:34 | By traceybjammet

good supermaekets and dairies shouldn’t be selling booze at all and it should be in an enclosed r18 area away from kids view just to stop normalising it like milk and soft drink

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