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LGNZ calls for review on special licences regime

LGNZ calls for review on special licences regime

LGNZ and its member councils across New Zealand have confirmed support for the intent of the Bill passed in Parliament last week, to extend the licensing hours of businesses during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. However, the passing of this Bill highlights the need to review the special licensing regime established under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

“We consider that the special licensing regime is the more appropriate mechanism to enable the extension of licensing hours for special events such as the Rugby World Cup,” says LGNZ President Lawrence Yule.

“We support the intent of the 2012 Act which ensures that decisions around alcohol are made at a local level, with input from our communities, and alcohol-related harm is minimised.”

Mr Yules notes that while councils are generally supportive of the process for special licences, LGNZ recognises that the regime may need improvement. In its submission, LGNZ outlined areas that it would like to progress with the government to ensure the special licence regime can be as effective as intended, including:

• delegating responsibility for special licence applications to council staff, to enable decisions to be made more quickly and with fewer costs associated;

• targeted guidance to assist applicants to better understand the process and timeframes necessary for submitting a special licence application;

• further support for District Licensing Committees, including the granting of special licences; and

• investigating the impact that the cost of special licences for clubs is having on rural communities.

“We recognise that this regime does have its issues, but we have identified a number of options that could optimise the regime and ensure that the public continue to have a say in the decisions around alcohol supply in their communities,” says Mr Yule.

A copy of LGNZ’s submission on the Bill is available here.


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