Dunedin's new liquor licensing decision-makers start
their training today, headed by a former city councillor.
Colin Weatherall has been appointed as chairman, in a
commissioner's role, of the council's new district licensing
From December 18, when the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act
2012 comes into force, the committee will make all decisions
on local applications for liquor licences.
Cr Andrew Noone has been appointed deputy chairman, to sit in
when Mr Weatherall is not available.
Council liquor licensing and projects officer Kevin Mechen
said the committee would comprise the chairman and two
Eight people expressed interest in being on the committee.
It was a good group, with a wide range of experience and
skills among them.
An in-house council panel had approved five committee members
to recommend to the council, which would make final decisions
at its November 21 meeting.
Mr Mechen said all five would receive training on the
legislation and the committee's responsibilities in the
meantime. The members would sit on hearings in rotation.
He believed the group selected would bring depth and useful
experience to the table.
The committee is part of changes under the Sale and Supply of
Alcohol Act 2012 that move decision-making to the community
Members of the new committee come from Dunedin and will be
paid $408 each day they are required.
Mr Weatherall, as chairman, will be paid $624 a day, or $78
The committee will hold hearings on opposed licence
applications, which is expected to happen in about a third of
the about 450 liquor licence applications made in Dunedin
Unopposed licence applications will be decided by the
The cost of the service will, from December 18, be recovered
in full from licence fees.
Ratepayers subsidise the present system.
A new fee regime will include a default fee increased or
decreased by a premises' risk rating, and will result in a
tripling of annual fees in many cases.
The chief executive of a council may, by statute, appoint a
commissioner to be the chairman of a licensing committee.
Council chief executive Paul Orders said the decision to
appoint Mr Weatherall was not a case of jobs for old boys.
Three people expressed interest in the chairmanship. The
other two did not meet the criteria set out by the Ministry
One of those was interested only in the chairmanship, and the
other was being put forward to the council as a committee
''The criteria for having experience in running full
committee hearings was a fairly constraining one,'' Mr Orders
Mr Weatherall said he was delighted to be able to continue to
serve the city in a different way, and looked forward to
being part of a new liquor licensing era.
The council is still working on new alcohol policy to guide
the local committee on licensing.
The Local Alcohol Policy could set the guidelines for where
new bars and off-licences were allowed to set up, maximum
trading hours and one-way door policies at bars.
Mr Mechen said the committee would base its decisions on
existing policy until the council adopted the new one.