Bars and clubs allowed open outside of trading hours for RWC

2:58 pm on 21 August 2019

Bars and clubs will be allowed to stay open outside of their normal trading hours for Rugby World Cup matches.

Fans watch nervously during the second half of the RWC 2015 final.

Fans will be able to watch the Rugby World Cup at bars and clubs regardless of the time of the game. Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

The government is adopting ACT Leader David Seymour's legislation to allow licensed premises to stay open to show the games live.

Mr Seymour said it was a "win for common sense".

"It made absolutely no sense that thousands of bars and clubs were having to apply for special licences to open for a few extra hours only to be turned down.

"We know from 2015 that people watching the rugby at their local are not troublemakers, so there was no reason to oppose my bill," Mr Seymour said.

Justice Minister Andrew Little will introduce a bill amending the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to allow eligible licensed premises to stay open for the purpose of televising live games that fall outside of their usual trading hours.

He thanked Mr Seymour for his work in drafting a bill on this issue.

"It's pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire", he said.

Mr Little said the timing of the matches in Japan means many premises will already be covered.

"However, there are some premises, such as clubs in rural areas, who tend to have earlier closing times and we want to make sure that these communities have the opportunity to enjoy the games," Mr Little said.

With support from government parties, ACT and National, Parliament will be able to pass this legislation quickly.

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