Liquor policy tightens up

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2013

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South Canterbury liquor stores and supermarkets will not be able to sell alcohol after 9pm, while bars will have to have a one-way door policy from 2am.

Following a day of submissions yesterday, the local alcohol policy committee decided on its provisional draft alcohol policy for the district, which will be publicly notified next month.

The committee consists of Timaru District councillors Pat Mulvey and Peter Burt, Mackenzie District councillor Graham Smith, and Waimate District councillor Sheila Paul and deputy mayor Sharyn Cain.

The New Zealand Retailers Association, Progressive Enterprises, Foodstuffs, Liquorland and Independent Liquor submitted that off-licence hours should be kept at 7am to 11pm.

The South Canterbury District Health Board and Alcohol Action submitted that hours should be 8am to 9pm.

It was decided to change the hours from 7am to 9pm, with Cr Burt saying it would help to stop "pre-loading".

Cr Page was not convinced there was evidence it would help, however Cr Mulvey said crime had reduced markedly when the closing time was from 5am to 3am.

It was agreed licensed premises open to 3am will require a one-way door restriction. Patrons can leave but not enter after 2am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mid-South Canterbury police area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin supported a one-way door policy, but recommended it be from 1am to 3am. He also played security footage of fights outside bars.

"The most dangerous time to be out in Timaru is between 1am and 3am because of foot traffic between bars. That is when the major assaults occur," he said.

A number of discretionary conditions were also retained, including door staff on busy weekend nights, and a discretionary condition was added by the police that no shots or double spirit mixes be sold within half an hour of closing. A shot or double spirit mix is 60ml of a spirit.

The committee decided if police raised concerns about shots being sold at a bar in the last half hour causing disorder, the discretionary condition could be added when the licence was reviewed.

Zest and Monteiths restaurants both made submissions on another discretionary condition that would restrict the use of outdoor areas after midnight for on-licence premises.

The committee decided the consumption of alcohol outside after midnight would be a discretionary condition on licences.

Another discretionary condition restricts new on-licence (taverns, hotels, bars and nightclubs, not restaurants and cafes) and off-licence premises to not being within 100 metres of any kindergarten, early childhood centre, primary or secondary school.

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A total of 40 submissions were made.

Correction: Edited to say Mackenzie District deputy mayor Graham Smith was part of the policy committee, not Mackenzie District councillor Graeme Page.

- The Timaru Herald

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