Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Councils pander to the Liquor Industry

Councils pander to the Liquor Industry


Alcohol Action Hawke’s Bay spokesperson Dr Fran Lowe said today that she was dismayed that the joint Hastings-Napier City Council Local Alcohol Policy committee ignored the advice of the HBDHB, the Police and the community by deciding to allow bars in both cities to stay open from 8 am till 3 am.

“They are clearly pandering to the liquor industry, whose motives are not to reduce alcohol-related harm, but to maximise profit by staying open as long as they can,” she said.

“Hawke’s Bay has a very high rate of alcohol consumption, with nearly a quarter of our drinkers classified as hazardous drinkers,” Dr Lowe said.
“According to their own Joint Alcohol Policy research, approximately half of all offending in Napier and Hastings is alcohol-fueled. The estimated cost of alcohol-related harm for hospitalisation and injury in Hawke’s Bay is around $25 million per year, to say nothing of the lives lost. You’d think that our councils would be eager to find ways to reduce this well-documented harm.”

However, Dr Lowe said, in their meeting yesterday none of the councillors mentioned the word “harm” in their deliberations, focusing more on how to make alcohol more available, citing reasons such as: most bars shut earlier anyway; bars have excellent processes for dealing with problems; people need time after a wedding to have a quiet drink when most people go home; people need to be able to buy alcohol in the morning before they go on an outing; all restaurants should be able to stay open until 2am because the Black Barn might want to stay open - allowing all restaurants to become bars by default.

"None of these constitute a valid reason, and none have any basis in the evidence prepared by their own staff.

“They ignored the evidence presented to them that longer opening hours means more incidences of violent crime; and they ignored the Hastings District Council survey which showed that most people want shorter, not longer opening hours.

“All but one of them – Cr Watkins, who alone voted against the longer hours - seemed to have forgotten that the purpose of their policy was not to make trading and selling and getting drunk easier, it was to reduce harm in the community.

"They had an opportunity to show all of us that they wanted to work with the Police and the DHB to improve the well-being of all sectors of the community, but they decided instead to protect the interests of the liquor industry and, it seems, middle class drinkers.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news