9 Apr 2014

Liquor ruling upsets Wanaka bars

1:50 pm on 9 April 2014

All special liquor licences requested by Wanaka bar and restaurants for the Easter weekend have been turned down, despite 50,000 people coming to the resort for the annual Warbirds over Wanaka airshow.

The Queenstown Lakes District Licensing Committee has refused every application for drinking on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, meaning those who wish to drink can not unless they are dining.

Aircraft entertain the crowd at Warbirds over Wanaka.

Aircraft entertain the crowd at Warbirds over Wanaka. Photo: RNZ

One of the failed applicants, Roger North, says the decision is astounding.

He says many of the thousands flocking to the town for the Warbirds Over Wanaka international airshow will want to drink while they socialise.

Mr Northe says the licensing committee told him the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act leaves very little room for negotiation.

He says the committee advised the bar owners their applications were contrived in order to receive commercial gain. In other words, the airshow event wasn't specific to the bars.

Mr North says he will not be applying for a special licence again.