Grad booze allowed in Square

Massey University’s tradition of supplying free drinks at two graduation events in The Square looks set to continue.

A dinner in May and cocktail party in November each year ran into problems because they were techdhnically in breach of Palmerston North’s liquor ban zone in the central city.

The city council has proposed a change to its Liquor Control Bylaw to exempt the two parties from the rules, and there are no objections.

The council’s community wellbeing committee yesterday heard three submissions supporting the change.

Massey University made a submission in support, but did not send representatives to the meeting. 

Palmerston North SafeCity Trust spokesman Steve Williams said granting the exemptions was ‘‘a no-brainer’’.

The graduation events were precisely the sort of activities the group wanted to see more of in The Square, to attract more people and enhance the sense of safety.

The bylaw had to change to remove any perception of a breach of the liquor rules, which the group also supported.

But he did not agree with MidCentral Health’s public health service that the process for gaining an exemption should be made easier in future.

The Safety Advisory Board, represented by chairman and Palmerston North police area commander Inspector Pat Handcock, said the events had run successfully without incident for many years.

He applauded the university for reporting that the two events were technically in breach of the ban, and said hosting graduation celebrations in The Square was part of its contribution to the city’s vibrancy and prosperity.

Most other events in The Square at which alcohol is served are covered by caterers’ liquor licences or special licences.

Massey had a problem with supplying free drinks using its own caterer.

Manawatu Standard