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Work set to resume on new Local Alcohol Policy for Rotorua


Tuesday 13 January 2015

Work set to resume on new Local Alcohol Policy for Rotorua

Work on developing a new Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) for Rotorua is about to resume having been on hold pending the outcome of appeals in other cities.

Last year Rotorua Lakes Council received submissions and held public hearings on a draft Rotorua Local Alcohol Policy under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

However legal challenges to other cities’ provisional local alcohol policies lodged with the national Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) brought a temporary halt to policy development work. At the time ARLA chair, Judge John Hole, suggested councils hold off finalising their local alcohol policies until the results of those appeals were available.

Rotorua’s Local Alcohol Policy working group chair, Councillor Karen Hunt, said decisions on the appeals in other cities could potentially impact on the final make-up of Rotorua’s own LAP.

“So it made sense for us to wait and see what transpired in other parts of the country so we could take that into account. This will help minimise the risk of our own LAP being subject to costly appeals.

“Some of those other cases have now been heard and ruled on, so our working party will be resuming its policy drafting work shortly. We’ll be taking into account any relevant outcomes from appeals to the ARLA, along with the submissions and presentations made during the public hearings we held in May last year.

“This will all be incorporated into our working group’s draft Local Alcohol Policy to be presented to the council’s Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee in March.

“We anticipate that by the middle of this year we’ll have a ‘Provisional Local Alcohol Policy’ ready to be publically notified. At that point anyone who previously made a submission on the earlier draft policy would have the option of lodging an appeal with the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority.

Mrs Hunt said development of the district’s first ever Local Alcohol Policy under new legislation was a particularly significant piece of work for the council.

“For the first time we’re able to develop an alcohol policy that takes into account our own local conditions and the views of our own community around things like the number of liquor outlets, their locations and when they’re permitted to operate. This has far-reaching consequences for Rotorua and is something our council has advocated for over recent years.

“So it’s been important not to rush development of the new policy but to take the time needed to try and get it right from Day One.”

In addition to Mrs Hunt, the working group preparing the draft policy for Rotorua Lakes Council includes councillors Rob Kent, Mike McVicker, Glenys Searancke and Tania Tapsell.


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