Liquor reforms 'a good balance'

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 13:56 12/12/2012
chris english
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
Timaru District Council regulatory services manager Chris English

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New liquor reforms will strike a good balance in determining how alcohol is sold and advertised, Timaru District Council regulatory services manager Chris English says.

The reforms, designed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol, will come into effect in 12 months and give councils greater powers to set their own alcohol policies and control where liquor stores can be located.

Timaru could have a new policy early next year, Mr English says.

The first step is to draught a local policy outlining how the new legislation will be enforced.

A District Licensing Committee will replace the existing District Licensing Agency and comprise of one elected member and two community representatives.

The committee will oversee all liquor licensing in the district.

Mr English is presently delegated that role. He says a local alcohol policy will give the community more say in setting guidelines.

''We start the consultation process early next year; we'll use our council consultation process including submissions and a series of workshops.''

He says the new system will require more work, increase regulatory costs and is self funded.

''It's got some real muscle; the community is going to have so much more say now.

''We have a very streamlined way of processing liquor licences at the moment and the new system will require a lot more input.

''The community will have a big say in the local alcohol policy.''

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- The Timaru Herald

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