Police oppose licence renewal

CLINTON LLEWELLYN
Last updated 05:00 22/08/2014

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Police are opposing a liquor licence renewal for a popular nightspot owned by a Napier City councillor.

The Thirsty Whale Bar and Restaurant, in Ahuriri, is co-owned by three-term councillor Keith Price. Its licence was due for renewal on Christmas Eve last year, but Price said yesterday he was still disputing conditions that police were trying to impose on a new licence.

Police declined to provide details of their submission against a licence renewal, saying the matter was still to be heard.

The dispute has been referred to the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority, as it cannot be dealt with locally because Price is a councillor. He would not say what the police conditions were. "I have a lawyer acting for me. It's pretty technical ground for me."

The renewal has also been opposed by Dennis Buckley, owner of neighbouring bar Shed 2, who refused to comment yesterday.

The Thirsty Whale had been able to continue operating under the conditions of its old alcohol licence while waiting for the matter to be heard, Price said.

A council spokeswoman said that, because the "renewal application received an objection and directly involved a licensee who is a councillor, the matter was referred to the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority". Fairfax NZ

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