This may be the last summer where city drinkers can bar-hop on The Strand until 3am, because by next summer the new local alcohol policy’s one-way door will be in force.
Tauranga City councillors adopted the policy this week, with some taking the opportunity to complain the policy, as it stands, doesn’t go far enough to reduce alcohol harm, but accepting the fact that if they delay at this stage, everything defaults back to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.
That will destroy nearly a year’s work by both Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District the two councils’ Joint Governance Committee; the submissions, the hearings, and the deliberations to introduce limits on the number of bottle shops limit opening hours and introduce a one way door policy on The Strand.
But city councillors showed how keen they are to reduce alcohol harm with Steve Morris moving the council shortcut the statutorily-required review of the policy in six years’ time.
Mayor Stuart Crosby supported it, but, partly because councillor and publican Clayton Mitchell declared an interest and took no part in the debate, the outcome was a tie. As result, the Mayor ended up using his casting vote to support the status quo, so the motion was lost. The vote to adopt the policy was carried.
The policy will be publicly notified between January 20 and February 4, 2014. If no appeals are made it will be adopted 30 days later on March 17, 2014.
The maximum trading hours of 7am to 10pm applies for all off licences, and all on licences, except those in Tauranga City centre, which have stipulated maximum trading hours of 9am to 1am. City centre bar trading hours will be 9am to 3am, with a one-way door procedure from 2am.
The provisions regarding trading hours and the one-way door policy don’t come into effect for three months after the public notification of the adopted policy.