Auckland Council gets tough on alcohol rules

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Auckland, July 20, 2017

Auckland Council is one step closer to introducing stronger measures to reduce alcohol related harm, particularly for our most vulnerable communities.

Yesterday (July 19), the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority issued its decision on appeals made against the council’s Provisional Local Alcohol Policy with the council successfully defending a majority of its policies.

Priority areas

The Authority upheld policies that will significantly restrict the availability of alcohol in areas at most risk from alcohol related harm. These are identified in 23 priority areas across Auckland.

This includes a two-year freeze on any new liquor outlets in City Centre and the 23 priority areas. After these two years, there will be a higher threshold to meet before new outlets can open. The council has also been successful in defending maximum trading hours for on-licences. City Centre hours will be 8 am to 4 am and everywhere else it will be 8 am to 3 am.

None of these policies is currently in force. There are still several decision steps to be made.

Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore said this is a significant decision for Auckland.

“It reflects the considerable community input the council received while developing its local alcohol policy. The local alcohol policy delivers stronger mechanisms for reducing alcohol related harm in our communities balanced with allowing people to enjoy responsible hospitality in our local centres. Alcohol related harm in is a very real issue. We know that high numbers of off-licences in certain areas is associated with increased levels of crime and anti-social behaviour. The restrictions on off-licences will provide significant benefits for the health and well-being of our most vulnerable communities,” he said.

Appeal for reconsideration

The Authority has asked the council to reconsider a small number of its policies. These are off-licences opening from 9 am, restricting delivery hours for remote sellers, requirements for local impacts reports for off-licence renewals, and additional discretionary conditions for single sales and afternoon closing near education facilities.

The Council will need to reconsider these items over the next few months and then seek a further decision from the Authority before the final local alcohol policy can be brought it into force.

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Picture Source: Auckland Council

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