1am closing time 'crazy'

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 15:41 01/07/2013

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Christchurch mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel has described the council's proposed local alcohol policy (LAP) as ''crazy'' for wanting to shut down most of the city centre by 1am.

Under the Christchurch City Council's draft LAP a one-way door rule would be in place from 1am in the central city. Only bars in a specific entertainment precinct - spanning The Strip, The Square and Sol Square - could apply for a liquor licence to stay open until 3am.

A blanket closing time of 1am would apply in suburban areas, including Victoria St in the central city.

Mayoral hopeful and Labour's earthquake recovery spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel said it was ''crazy'' to have different rules for a proposed entertainment precinct and the new bars and clubs opening in Victoria and St Asaph streets.

Dalziel's comments were made during a live chat with press.co.nz readers today.

See the chat here.

''In residential areas, everyone agrees the bars should close at 1am,'' she said.

''The debate in the centre of the city is whether there should be a difference between an entertainment precinct open to 3am with a one-way door policy taking effect from 1am."

Dalziel said she wanted to meet with the hospitality industry because ''it may be there is an easy compromise that would satisfy both sides''.

Today's live chat also saw Dalziel comment on what keeps her awake at night, her professional relationship with Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and her desire to reunite the council's ''A team and B team''.

Dalziel declined to say who she thought should run for Labour when she vacated her Christchurch East seat later this year, but thought it would be a ''hotly-contested selection''.

For the new council, Dalziel said she wanted to see ''leaders'' around the table.

''While Bob [Parker] handled the response brilliantly, I believe that a different skill set is required for the recovery. There must be far greater accountability and transparency around decision making.''

The council's rising debt was ''what keeps me awake at night'', she said.

''Although we had the big announcement of who pays what last week, I don't believe that the people of Christchurch have been well served by the communication strategy which seems to underplay the amount we are actually going to be paying as ratepayers.''

Dalziel thought Christchurch residents should be able to choose their priorities when it came to building a new stadium, but liked the idea of being able to watch cricket after work if the proposed Hagley Oval redevelopment went ahead.

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''I personally am a little concerned about the lack of parking and the proximity to the hospital which would limit the use of the site for other purposes. What I do like is the fact it is so close to the centre of town.''

Dalziel's main rival, current Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker will take part in a Press live chat from noon on Wednesday.

- The Press

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