Changes to the way liquor licensing is dealt with in Dunedin
are likely to be confirmed next year when the Alcohol Reform
Bill goes through its third and final reading in Parliament.
A district licensing committee will replace the existing
district licensing agency upon implementation of the new Sale
and Supply of Alcohol Act, which will change the role and
structure of Dunedin City Council activities surrounding the
licensing of premises in the district.
The Act could also spell substantial fee increases for bar
owners, and already some have warned premises will be forced
At the council's planning and environment committee meeting
on Tuesday, DCC liquor licensing and projects officer Kevin
Mechen tabled a report outlining progress of the new
Mr Mechen said the Bill, as of this week, was No 20 on the
parliamentary order paper, which meant it would be "coming
up" for its third reading sometime next year.
Until then, the council was unable to implement any changes,
"While the delays are frustrating, the Ministry of Justice is
working at finalising a lot of technical detail both in the
Bill and subsequent regulations," he said.
Once the final reading took place, the council would have six
months to understand and begin working with the new licensing
criteria, and 12 months to establish the new district
"The committee begins its role 12 months after the new Act
receives the royal assent," he said.
Regulatory changes meant more work for the council, because
the committee would have to consider all applications for new
alcohol licences and manager's certificates, as well as
Bars were expected to bear the cost of increased council
work, as well as the potential doubling of application fees.
Mr Mechen said the council would receive a full report
outlining the changes and their impact on the council as soon
as the Bill had its final reading.