Plans to exempt Massey University from the liquor ban in Palmerston North's Square have failed to raise a flicker of protest from city residents.
The city council last year called for submissions on changes to the Liquor Control Bylaw to allow free drinks to be served at two graduation celebrations each year.
Other events where drinks were sold to individuals or event organisers under licence conditions were legal, but the giveaways were a technical breach of the ban.
City councillor Lew Findlay decried the proposed changes, asking why people could not have a cele bration without alcohol, and Cr Chris Teo-Sherrell said it sent the wrong message for the council to make exceptions for its "friends".
Massey moved indoors for its November cocktail party, featuring a renewal of formal relationships with the city council, to avoid a possible breach of the rules.
The advertised changes to the bylaw drew no objections, with four submissions in favour. The supporters are Massey University, the Safety Advisory Board, the Palmerston North Safe City Trust, and MidCentral Health.
Manager of the Public Health Service Robert Holdaway said the bylaw changes should go further, and make it easier for other organisations arranging events in The Square to be granted an exemption.
At the moment the proposal is to include the Massey events as a schedule at the end of the bylaw.
That meant any future applications for exemptions would have to go through full public consultation.
- Manawatu Standard
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