Chch needs to learn from Queenstown’s alcohol experience
September 16, 2013
Christchurch needs to learn from Queenstown’s alcohol experience
Christchurch city councillors must take heed of Queenstown’s experiences around licensing hours otherwise they will repeat the mistakes made in that town that caused social problems and were eventually changed.
Hospitality New Zealand’s Canterbury branch president, Peter Morrison, said that Queenstown Lakes did have a 2.30am close regime in place for about three years in the mid 1990s.
“The definition of 'closing' at 3.00am confused the politicians and the half hour 'drink up' was included in the hours of operation...ergo 2.30 close...out by 3.00am,” he said.
Objections were raised strongly over this confusion and there was a loosening up of special licences to accommodate visitor expectations over Christmas, New Year, Easter, Winter Festival and long weekends.
Present Lakes District Councillor John Mann said that these special licences led to much uncertainty and, when coupled with noise complaints from spontaneous parties springing up everywhere and constant cases of disorder at the taxi ranks, led to a revision and a withdrawal of the blanket 2.30am close.
“This was driven more by Council than the Police. However, they did support the idea of 'staged' closing rather than a blanket closure. The regime at present is 4.00am,” he said.