Being declined a special liquor licence to run an alcohol
tent at a school fair has set a precedent for other community
fundraising initiatives, a Mosgiel school principal says.
Yesterday, a Dunedin City Council hearing committee declined
an application for a special licence by Elmgrove School based
on ''overwhelming'' evidence from health officials, police
and a licensing inspector.
''The message we have taken home with us is that anyone that
is arranging an event in a public place with children around
you cannot have people consuming alcohol,'' principal Jenny
At the hearing Mrs McDonald rejected concerns the ''adult
refreshment area'' would normalise the consumption of alcohol
and stressed children were not allowed to enter the marquee,
which would be sited discreetly.
''Children would not have been allowed in the alcohol tent
just like parents wouldn't be allowed on the bouncy
castles,'' she said after the decision.
''What was a low-key activity has been blown up into
The school had planned to sell a dozen 24-packs of beer it
had been given and buy bottles of wine for resale by the
As a consequence of the decision, the school had applied for
a licence allowing that alcohol to be sold and consumed away
from the school.
The school had earlier argued the alcohol would have been
consumed in a safe environment.
Mrs McDonald said the school ran a successful wine-tasting
event in 2010, and the inclusion of the alcohol tent at this
year's event was to attract fathers, who ''don't go to white
elephants [and] cake stalls'', she said.
At the hearing, chaired by councillor Andrew Noone and
including Crs David Benson-Pope and Kate Wilson, it was
confirmed the special liquor licence application was the
first one to prompt an objection under the Sale and Supply of
Alcohol Act 2012, which came into effect on June 18.
Dr Keith Reid, a public health physician with the Southern
District Health Board, noted the fair would be held between
4pm to 7pm on a Saturday, to enable the maximum turnout of
parents, particularly fathers.
He was concerned with the fair being promoted as a
family/fundraising event, as ''the provision of alcohol is
being used to attract adults to the event who might not
While organisers were complying with the Act's regulatory
requirements, there was also a requirement to minimise harm
associated with the inappropriate consumption of alcohol.
In his conclusion he noted ''that the matters involved are of
considerable public interest and highly relevant to both the
intention of the legislators in passing that Sale and Supply
of Alcohol Act and the ability of society to tackle the
ingrained cultural attitudes towards alcohol in New Zealand
Dunedin alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Ian Paulin
said police did not object to the application on regulatory
grounds, as it knew Public Health South would object to the
Dunedin City Council liquor licensing and projects officer
Kevin Mechen said the new legislation gave ''clear indication
that there should be greater restrictions on where and when
alcohol should be sold''.
Justice Minister Judith Collins said yesterday while she
could not comment on specific cases, the Act ''provides a
strong legislative framework for reducing alcohol-related
harm with benefits for the whole community''.
''One of the key concerns of communities has been the
exposure to alcohol and drinking impacting on young people.
"The Act provides tighter controls on who can get a licence
to sell alcohol and how alcohol can be promoted to the
"It also provides new measures to give local communities more
say in alcohol licensing decisions.''