Council considers alcohol request

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:22 22/07/2014

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Marlborough 4 Fun is applying for approval to serve alcohol at its Pollard Park summer concerts this year.

The events company has asked the Marlborough District Council, which owns the park, to approve the change. The request will be considered at the council's assets and services committee meeting today.

But even if the request is approved, the organiser will still need a special licence to serve alcohol at certain events.

Chief executive Katrina Lange said yesterday that Marlborough 4 Fun was looking to do the concerts "a bit differently" this year, and was aiming for an Opera in the Park-type event, where people could have a glass of wine while listening to music in family-friendly surroundings.

"It was an opportunity to change the music style and offer something a bit different in the region. It's just such a beautiful setting there, and it really lends itself to that style of music [‘popera']."

In previous years there had been requests to allow alcohol sales, and there were opportunities for sponsors from the wine industry, she said.

"Obviously, if they were going to sponsor the event, they would want to have the opportunity to highlight their product."

Marlborough 4 Fun approached council staff for permission to encourage BYO alcohol, and allow a potential sponsor to have alcohol sales and tastings at the Pollard Park summer concert series.

"Marlborough 4 Fun is looking at bringing this event more in line with an Opera in the Park-style event, where the community is encouraged to pack a picnic and enjoy a glass of wine while listening to music. The event will still stay family-focused."

The series was run as part of the council's event contract with Marlborough 4 Fun.

"There is currently no policy that governs consumption or sale of alcohol in parks and reserves outside the council's alcohol ban areas."

The Pollard Park Management Plan was under review and the idea would be considered through this process for future decisions, but a decision was needed to give Marlborough 4 Fun planning time.

The report said the police had no issue with the proposal.

"The council's environmental health officer has confirmed the proposal will mean a special licence for the event. Liquor licensing places management requirements and controls on the event manager to protect the public. As the property owner, the council needs to give permission for the sale and consumption of alcohol at the park."

Council staff have recommended the application be approved, and said there were opinions on both sides of the issue.

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It would allow Marlborough 4 Fun to gain sponsorship, but health professionals would argue against promoting alcohol consumption.

- The Marlborough Express

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