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Significant Interest In New Alcohol Laws

Significant Interest In New Alcohol Laws

Around 90 people attended Ruapehu District Council (RDC) meetings in Taumarunui and Ohakune on the implications of the changes to the alcohol laws yesterday (11/12/13).

The amendments to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act) which come into full effect on 18th December will mean significant changes to the rules that govern the sale and supply of liquor for both licenced premises and the public.

RDC Senior Environmental Health Officer, Mohammed Ishrar, said that it was fantastic to see the large turnout and that people involved with liquor in Ruapehu are working hard to get up to speed with the changes.

“It is important that people note that these new law changes don’t just affect licenced premises but also affect the general public and how they may offer alcohol to people in their own homes.”

“The new law has implications for the summer barbeque where young people are around,” he said.

“It will be illegal to supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 unless you have express consent from their parent or legal guardian.”

“This means people with teenagers at their summer barbeques and parties are going to have to be careful that they don’t put themselves on the wrong side of the new law.”

“Offering a beer or wine to a teenage without parental or guardian consent could see you being fined up to $2,000.”

Mr Ishrar said that other changes that affect the public include new on-the-spot fines.

“These cover such things as having an open container of alcohol in a liquor ban area, presenting a fake id, using some else’s id to buy liquor or lending an id to an underage person to buy liquor.”

“Other significant changes that affect licenced premises include; introducing maximum default trading hours, new host responsibilities (including supplying free water), banning promotion of excessive alcohol consumption, restricting supermarket and grocery store alcohol displays to a single area and strengthening of the rules around the type of stores able to sell alcohol.”

Mr Ishrar noted that the amendments to the liquor laws are clearly aimed at minimising the harm caused by excessive drinking and improving New Zealand’s drinking culture.

“Ruapehu communities through Council’s new District Licencing Committee (DLC) will be in a better position to make their voices heard around how alcohol is sold or supplied in their town,” he said.

“Ruapehu’s DLC membership comprises; Commissioner Ross Murphy, List Members; Deputy Mayor Marion Gillard who is Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Karen Ngatai and Mike Gaven.”

“All unopposed liquor licence applications will be decided by the Commissioner on his own while all opposed applications will be decided by the DLC made up of the Commissioner and two list members.”

“One list member is rotated every three months.”

“Anyone who wants to know more about the law changes can go to Council’s website; www.ruapehudc.govt.nz which also has links to the Ministries website, or alternatively they can call either myself of Tracy Gibson via their local Council office.”

ends

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