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SOL Bill
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Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill


23. Off-licences

SOL 29, new (3) supported.

24. Who may hold an off-licence

Repeal of SOL 30(1)(i) to (j) and 30(2) opposed. These sections related to clubs becoming on-licenses, which is opposed.

25. Applications for off-licences

SOL 31 new (4) and (5) on site notices supported. Also for renewals, C.34 [SOL 41].

26. Objections

SOL 32(1) Repeal of age restriction on making an objection is supported.

27. Reports

SOL 33 changes to require investigation but opposing reports only is supported. Also for renewals of off-licences, C.36 {SOL 43]

28. Unopposed applications

SOL 34 Devolution of granting of unopposed off licences is supported.

30. Repeal of Section 36.

Strongly opposed. This Bill proposes a single prohibition on service stations to replace this section which limits the holding of off-licences to appropriate and specialist businesses, with exceptions possible where the sale of alcohol is an ‘appropriate complement’ to the main purpose of business. This is a key clause in allowing supermarkets (defined by size) to hold an off-licence but not dairies (along with S.37).

This apparently bitty section gives rise to some difficult decisions by the LLA and considerable case law. But it is important because it reflects an underlying principle that off-licences should be held by responsible specialist retailers. Such businesses are likely to be fully aware of liquor laws and alcohol issues and therefore to be responsible licensees. (Increased binge drinking by Auckland 14-17 year olds is associated with take-away alcohol. The number of off-licensed premises in Auckland has doubled since 1990 and they receive little attention from inspectors or police.)

In regard to the prohibition on services stations, which is supported, we point to APHRU’s recommendation that neighbouring land use be made a general criteria in granting a licence. This would have averted the licensing of a New Lynn liquor outlet in the same building as a petrol station.

31. Conditions of off-licences [SOL 37)

Repeal of sections (1) to (3) opposed. These changes would allow Sunday trading (SOL 37(1) and the sale of beer and spirits as well as wine by supermarkets (SOL 37(3))

Sunday trading by ‘tavern’ licensed businesses, whose main purpose is drinking, and off-licensed outlets, including supermarkets, is opposed on the grounds of adverse experiences in other countries which have extended Sunday trading.

The extension of supermarket trading to all alcohol types, as well as on Sundays, is opposed because research shows that they are currently an easy source of alcohol for underage drinkers in their mid teens, who meet few refusals. In general, young people choose to drink beer and spirits to wine, so that underage purchase attempts can be expected to increase.

The increased availability through supermarkets may have a general effect: wine consumption increased 17% following the introduction of wine to supermarkets, particular among women. It was cited by women as a reason for increased drinking. (Although in NZ ‘availability theory’ is said to be ‘discredited’ (Laking 1986), availability and outlet density are issues which are taken seriously by researchers and local policy makers in comparable countries.)

Off sales for clubs. Also proposed is the repeal of S.37(2) which limits any off-licence held by a club to sale to members only. The intention of a new condition under 37(4) might be to make such a limitation would be possible - if so proposed by the club. Case law to date shows the LLA could not impose such a limitation.

32. Description of licensed premises (SOL 37A)

Support additional 37A (1) as formalising an existing practice.

But oppose sections (2) and (3) as unnecessarily rigid and limiting the ability of the specialist body appointed by Parliament to impose solutions to problems when at present it is extremely limited in its ability to refuse a licence. Similarly oppose 37A (2) and (3) related to off-licenses.

34-37 Processing of applications for off-licences and renewals

Support similar changes as for on-licences above.

Proposed changes in C.34 (SOL 41] for site notices for renewals - supported.

C.35 [SOL 42] removal of age restriction on objecting - supported.

C36 [SOL 43] continuing investigation by police and MOH but reports required only in cases of objection - supported.

C.37 [SOL 44] devolution of granting of unopposed off-licences and off-licence renewals - supported.

38. Temporary authority [SOL 47] Clarification supported.

40. Annual returns. [SOL 50] See 21 above.

Club licences

43. Club licences

Repeal of club licences by repealing Part III, and all other references eg 6(2)c)

Strongly oppose repeal of the club licence, meaning that clubs would hold normal on-licences, could sell to the public, not just members and could hold off-licences. They would have to meet requirement for manager present at all times and would pay the higher fee, unless they obtained a dispensation from that fee. In effect, clubs become taverns. See note.

Special licences

47. Application for special licences [SOL 76.]

Changes 76 (4) to drop the requirement for a public notice in the newspaper with a site notice only. This is inconsistent.

We support both a newspaper notice and a site notice for special licences (unless Secretary agrees this is impracticable or unreasonable) as for other licence types.

48. Objections. [SOL 77(1)] Support removal of age restriction of objecting for all licence types.

49. Reports [SOL 78]

Support changes to investigate but report only on opposed applications.

But recommend that MOHs as well as police be required to report on applications for special licences for major events, such as wine and food festivals, music festivals, as they are for on- and off- licences. Health promotion officers under the MOH can play a valuable role in advising on such events.

51. Conditions of special licences

Adds possible condition related to ‘the containers in which liquor may be sold’. Do not Support this, which relates in particular to using plastic or cans rather than glass at public events, festivals etc.

owever, in general embedding over-specific requirements to legislation in order to resolve problems is not recommended. We recommend changes to the criteria and conditions of all licence types to allow some flexibility to set additional conditions where appropriate to resolve particularly situations or risks. An contested matters could be referred to the LLA. See Recommended Amendments.

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