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Community gets more say under new alcohol laws

News Release

Friday 13 December 2013


Community gets more say under new alcohol laws

Rotorua residents will have more say in liquor licensing issues as a result of changes to New Zealand alcohol laws which come into effect next week (December 18).

The new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 passed by Parliament recently is aimed at improving New Zealand’s drinking culture and minimising the harm caused by excessive drinking within communities.

Councillor Karen Hunt, chairperson of Rotorua’s newly established District Licensing Committee (DLC), said Rotorua District Council was pleased that at last the community’s views were being heard around how alcohol is sold or supplied in the district.

“We’re now empowered to act on our residents’ concerns around liquor consumption and the sale of alcohol, something our council has advocated for some time. This means, for example, we can take into account concern about the number of existing liquor outlets in a particular location when considering a new licence application. ”

Under the new legislation councils are required to establish District Licensing Committees to consider, grant or renew on-licences, off-licences, club licenses, special licenses, temporary authorities and managers’ certificates.

Rotorua DLC community appointees are Henry Weston, Juanita Conder, Alastair Gibson, Morris Meha along with district councillors Glenys Searancke and Karen Hunt representing the council.

The changes that come into effect next week mark the final stage of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Key features of the changes include:

• allowing local-level decision-making for all licence applications

• providing broader grounds for public objections ie considering impact on local amenities and good order

• requiring express consent of a parent or guardian before supplying alcohol to a minor

• requiring anyone who supplies alcohol to under 18-year-olds to do so responsibly

• strengthening the rules around the types of stores eligible to sell alcohol

• introducing maximum default trading hours for licensed premises

• restricting supermarket and grocery store alcohol displays to a single area

• infringement notice offence for breach of liquor control bylaws

• broader definition of public place which now extends to previously excluded areas such as car parks and school grounds. Section 147 of the Local Government Amendment Act 2012 – Power to make bylaws for alcohol control purposes.

More information on changes to the act can be found on Rotorua District Council’s website rdc.govt.nz or on the Ministry of Justice site justice.govt.nz .

[ENDS]

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