Police say no confidence in Sevens liquor licence holder
"You can easily get by gate security by consuming large amounts just prior to entry, the effect doesn't kick in until you get inside the stadium."Featured comment
UPDATED: Police say breaches of alcohol laws last year led it to question the capability of Sevens licence holder Spotless.
NZ Police have lodged two applications with the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority in relation to breaches of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act during the Sevens. A hearing date is yet to be set.
Wellington police spokesman Nick Bohm says police do not have confidence in the staff, training and systems of the licence holder Spotless given its performance last year.
It says breaches were mainly to do with intoxication, while there was also under-age drinking.
Changes to the act introduced last year more clearly define who is considered “intoxicated” and can be sold alcohol and kept on premise.
However, he says it is “early days” and won’t say what restrictions it wants on alcohol sales at the Sevens. The police will not release the full submissions to the media.
Mr Bohm says assuming the authority rules to vary Spotless’ licence conditions, the police will continue discussions with organisers.
He refused to speculate whether the police have any bottom line conditions such as it becoming a day light onlyevent.
The Police have lodged two applications with the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.
The first proposes a special licence with terms agreed to by the police, while the second application is to suspend or cancel the caterer's liquor licence.
New laws place tighter restrictions on who can sell alcohol and give a definition of "intoxicated" to guide licence holders as to who can stay on their premises.
Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon says Spotless losing its licence is highly unlikely, and refused to discuss whether the caterers could back out of the contract if licence conditions change.
Mr Harmon says it was not clear what exactly the police would want included in a special licence but discussions were taking place.
The police had not raised any concerns with other events held at the stadium, he says.
He says since organisers have been working on alcohol management, consumption of alcohol at the Sevens has halved and the number of people being treated was trending downward.
“The problem we have in Wellington is pre-loading, which has meant we’ve had to become stricter at the gate.”
The event needs to evolve, Mr Harmon says, to have more of a focus on rugby while retaining its carnival aspect.
NZ Police Wellington district communications manager Nick Bohm had not responded to NBR ONLINE’s requests for comment at press time.
Ministry of Justice spokesman Matt Torbit told NBR ONLINE media are unable to view submissions to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority while cases are still being heard.
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed a total of 47 appeals have been received against 10 provisional local alcohol policies.
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