Licence suspension rescheduled around tournament

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 11:14 06/12/2012

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A Lower Hutt entertainment centre has been permitted to reschedule its liquor licence suspension because the assigned dates were inconvenient.

Strike Entertainment Centre, which offers bowling and kart racing on Hutt Rd, had its liquor licence suspended after failing a controlled purchase operation in May.

During controlled purchase operations, police use minors, usually aged 16 or 17, to enter premises and try to buy alcohol.

The three-day alcohol suspension was to begin on November 23 but has been rescheduled after a request from the entertainment centre.

The dates which had been set down for the suspension coincided with an international tenpin bowling tournament which had been pre-arranged for months.

General manager Dion Leslie said steps had been taken to ensure the matter did not arise again. The centre now had an ''under-30 policy'' rather than the typical ''under-25'' and also gave customers age verification bands once their ID had been sighted.

Mr Leslie said police had originally said the date of the suspension would be in October but this had then been delayed until November, the weekend the tournament was scheduled.

''We had people from overseas coming to visit the centre. I guess from an international perspective the reputation of the centre would have been questioned.''

The Liquor Licensing Authority which made the original order has agreed to postpone the suspension until Boxing Day, which Mr Leslie said he was happy about.

The suspension on the sale of liquor will now begin at 7am on December 26 and end on 7am December 29.

Contact Shabnam Dastgheib
Breaking news reporter
Email: shabnam.dastgheib@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @shab_d

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- The Dominion Post

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