Cost to licence bars will hit clubs hard

Changes to liquor licensing laws will hit clubs in the pocket, with the cost of having an operating bar set to quadruple.

Previously clubs were able to apply for a club licence, which cost $134.93.

However, each club will now require a bar manager, who will need to do a two-day polytech course at a cost of $265, and apply for a manager's certificate, which costs $316.25, a total cost of $581.

Timaru District Council environmental health manager Jonathan Cowie said the new Liquor Licensing Act, which came into force in December, had removed the provision of club manager's and general manager's certificates, and now only a manager's certificate existed.

The cost of club licences will also change. Clubs used to pay $793 every three years, but now they will pay between $368 and $1207. Of the 37 clubs in Timaru, 26 will be in the very low fee range and pay a licence fee of $368, due every three years, and an annual fee of $172.50, all up costing $885.50 every three years.

The other 11 clubs will face an annual licence fee of between $391 and $1437.50 and a club licence every three years, costing between $609 and $1437.

The fee is determined by the number of members of purchase age and the amount of time the bar is operated.

One club chairman, who did not want to be named, said his club would not be seeking a new licence.

"We will pull the pin when the licence expires. We do not sell enough drink to break even."

Is your club affected? Email

The Timaru Herald