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Proposal to exempt grocery shoppers from liquor bans fails

13 May 2014

Proposal to exempt grocery shoppers from Auckland’s proposed liquor bans fails

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer says he’s disappointed that Mayor Len Brown and a majority of councillors voted against his proposal to change the council’s draft Local Alcohol Policy to allow Auckland ‘mum and dads’ to continue buying wine or beer with their supermarket shop before 9am.

“There’s no evidence to suggest early morning supermarket shoppers who buy a bottle of wine with their weekly groceries are the problem. In fact, statistics show that the clear majority of supermarket shoppers at that time of day are women between the age of 30 and 60. People are there to beat the traffic or the crowds, after they’ve dropped their kids off at school, or before they go to work. Yet it’s these Aucklanders’ who are wrongly getting picked on in council’s draft Local Alcohol Policy.

Mr Brewer’s amendment read: ‘That supermarkets’ standard maximum off-licence hours start at 7am to reflect the low number of alcohol transactions at that time of day in supermarkets and the observation that these early morning grocery shoppers are unlikely to be a significant contributor to alcohol harm in Auckland.’

The amendment was lost 14/7. The seven who supported it were councillors Brewer, Fletcher, Krum, Quax, Stewart, Webster, and Watson.

In the end the council’s draft Local Alcohol Policy, which will soon be released for formal public consultation, was passed 20/1.

“I voted against the policy because I believe it’s poorly targeted and not based on actual evidence as it’s claimed to be. I believe our metropolitan centres such as Newmarket and Takapuna should be given a bit more latitude, and that a two-year blanket ban on all new off-licences in the Central City area is anti-business and unfair. Nor is it fair that local bars’ hosting a champagne breakfast before 9am will need to get a special licence if this draft policy is adopted later in the year.”

Mr Brewer encourages the public and businesses to have their say.

ENDS

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