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District Licensing Committee announced

District Licensing Committee announced

For immediate release: 17 October 2013

Eastern Bay of Plenty councils continue to work together on alcohol regulation and are pleased to announce the appointment of a shared Eastern Bay of Plenty District Licensing Committee (DLC) to take responsibility for local decisions relating to the sale and supply of alcohol. From December 2013, all local-level liquor licence decisions - new and renewal of premises licences, managers’ certificates, special licences and temporary authorities - will be made by the DLC.

The Committee will be chaired by Commissioner Russell Orr, with List Members Jenny Mahoney (Deputy Commissioner), Russell Chase, Anita Moore, Shona Browne, Memory Mio and Michelle Heath sharing the decision-making responsibilities.

The development of the DLC results from the significant changes made to New Zealand’s alcohol laws last year through the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The three Eastern Bay of Plenty District Councils (Kawerau, Ōpōtiki and Whakatāne) agreed to work together to respond to those changes, including the development and adoption of a Local Alcohol Policy and the establishment of the shared committee.

Expressions of interest in DLC membership were called for in July, with a total of 26 candidates indicating their interest in the positions. The candidates had a wide range of knowledge and experience and many were well-suited to the role.

Whakatāne District Council Chief Executive, Marty Grenfell, says it was pleasing to receive such strong interest in the committee. “The number and quality of candidates who put themselves forward gave us confidence that the DLC would be capable of making robust decisions in the community’s interest,” he says.

The councils established a shortlist of committee members and interviewed candidates during September, with the Councils then jointly approving the recommended appointments.

Barbara Dempsey, Acting Chief Executive, Ōpōtiki District Council was involved in the process. “It was a significant task to evaluate the large number of applicants. Overall, I was genuinely impressed with the calibre, experience and knowledge of the candidates and wish to thank everyone involved for their time and interest,” she says.

Kawerau Chief Executive Russell George welcomed the appointments. “The seven members of the committee will have the task of applying legislation and policy at a local level. They will have a strong governance role and will need to act independently in the best interest of their communities. I look forward to seeing the DLC in action,” he says.

All seven members of the DLC will represent their communities as they share local-level decision-making on the sale and supply of alcohol in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

The next milestone will be the preparation and approval of a Terms of Reference outlining how the DLC responsibilities will be shared. The Committee will hold its first meeting in December.


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