28 Sep 2009

Bar trade applauds change of mind on closing times

9:44 pm on 28 September 2009

The Hospitality Association is welcoming the withdrawal of a proposal to restrict drinking hours in some Auckland bars.

After putting out a draft policy under which licensed premises outside the central city and designated zones would have had to shut by 11pm, the Auckland City Council has canned the policy, citing concerns that it would hurt businesses.

The Hospitality Association's Auckland regional manager, Sarah Tucker, says that up to 200 industry representatives applauded the announcement at a meeting on Monday morning.

She says the proposal would have put some bars and restaurants out of business and it's pleasing that the council listened to the industry's concerns.

It's a copout, says Alcohol Healthwatch

The lobby group Alcohol Healthwatch says however that the decision is a copout and a let-down for the community.

Director Rebecca Williams says the draft policy would have significantly reduced alcohol-related harm had it been enacted.

Auckland City Mayor John Banks says the policy was flawed from the start. He told Morning Report that it was not reasonable, sensible or fair, so he pulled the plug on it.

He disagreed with it from the outset, he says, but was told by officials that there was support for it.