News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Karaoke bars leading to more harm in Auckland

A profusion of karaoke bars are leading to more incidences of alcohol related harm in Auckland

Karaoke bars in Auckland are leading to excessively heavy drinking and alcohol-related violence, delegates at the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) Conference were told yesterday.

The theme of the conference is ‘Time for Action’, with a focus on working together to create sustainable changes in the way New Zealanders think about and use alcohol.

Mr Gary Whittle of the New Zealand Police Liquor Licensing Unit in Auckland City presented on the recent rise in popularity of karaoke bars in and around Auckland city centre - predominantly used by members of the Asian immigrant population.

He says while here in New Zealand we associate karaoke bars with wannabe stars getting a chance to shine, the Asian model is very different.

“These issues are arising largely through cultural differences. Asian drinking culture revolves around karaoke bars where heavy drinking of hard liquor is the norm.

“Most of the 14 karaoke bars in Auckland City which hold liquor licenses have run foul of our licensing laws within their first year of operation. For example, some establishments have been selling full size bottles of hard liquor to patrons.

“The introduction of this style of drinking has led to a worrying increase in severe intoxication, grievous assaults and other alcohol-related violence.”

The bars offer individual karaoke rooms which patrons usually hire for the night. Mr Whittle says they are ideal for clandestine meetings of those involved in organised crime and high-level drug dealing.

“Meetings can be held and connections made in a private environment with no questions asked.”

Mr Whittle says other areas need to plan for what could become an issue for their communities in the future.

“Strategies we are using in Auckland include implementing a re-education programme for existing licenses, delivered using the Mandarin and Cantonese languages. This ensures licence holders clearly understand their obligations under our licensing laws. We’re also enabling a greater police presence at many of these bars.

“It might only be a matter of time before these bars start popping up in other areas of New Zealand and communities need to be prepared to deal with any related issues quickly and efficiently.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland