Auckland Council sets tough booze ban

Cameron Brewer

Auckland Council has outlined proposals to curb bar opening times and restrict liquor sales in an attempt to clamp down on regulated alcohol use.

It is one of the last councils to propose a local alcohol policy.

Under the revised Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, local bodies can produce their own individual policies. In smaller regions appeals from a range of groups have already begun against the draft policies.

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer has hit out at the plans – set to be approved for public consultation tomorrow – as “back to the future” restrictions.

The council wants to put a freeze on new liquor shops in the central city and bars will be forced to close earlier than Wellington.

Auckland also wants to restrict retail sales of liquor from 9am-10pm, a move council documents state is opposed by the supermarkets.

The morning ban will restrict shoppers from buying wine or beer with their weekly groceries, Mr Brewer says.

“This policy will make a joke of council’s latest marketing campaign that promotes Auckland as 'the show that never stops,'” Mr Brewer says.

Standard maximum closing hours for pubs and clubs will be shortened to 3am for the central city, while other areas will close at 1am.

Mr Brewer says the areas defined, as the central city are unfair because it includes Ponsonby but not Newmarket or Parnell, which will have to close at 1am.

The policy also puts a freeze on off-licences, which are granted to liquor retailers in the central city for two years.

Key policies:

  • Retail sales of liquor between 9am -10pm
  • Standard maximum closing hours of 3am for central city, 1am for suburbs
  • Freeze on off-licences for two years in the central city.

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