New legislation is creating new issues for liquor licensing
The city's first special licence application under the Sale
and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 was heard by the District
Licensing Committee yesterday.
Richard Newcombe, director of Dunedin Hospitality Ltd (Macs
Brew Bar) and Di Lusso Ltd, applied to extend the bars'
outside areas for a predicted surge in patrons on Saturday.
He said Orientation activities and the Highlanders' first
Super rugby match of the season constituted an event for
Dunedin and a special licence was warranted.
A temporary road closure for part of Stuart St and the
Octagon was granted, and Mr Newcombe hoped to extend his
bars' outside areas so more people could be served on the
An outside bar with limited alcoholic drinks would be set up
at Macs Brew Bar to cater for the estimated 100 extra
patrons, and extra food would be available as well as
His application was opposed by the New Zealand Fire Service,
which had concerns about the lack of trial evacuations from
both bars and the narrow entrances which could be unsuitable
for increased patronage.
It was opposed, too, by Dr Keith Reid of Public Health South,
who said harm from increased alcohol consumption arising from
the application contravened the new Act.
He said scheduled activities on Saturday did not constitute
an event under the Act, and it was not appropriate to grant a
licence which allowed alcohol to be served in areas subject
to a liquor ban.
''The intent of the new Act is a focus on reducing the
availability and accessibility of alcohol.
''It seems paradoxical, therefore, to consider that an
expansion of the capacity of licensed premises for the sole
purpose of enabling increased sales of alcohol should be
considered to be permissible under the new regime,'' Dr Reid
Dunedin alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Ian Paulin
said police did not initially oppose the application as it
was similar to those granted under previous legislation, but
he supported the opposing arguments of Dr Reid in relation to
the new law and its emphasis on harm reduction.
Committee chairman Colin Weatherall said the application, the
first of its kind under the new law, raised issues which
would take time to sort out.
Mr Newcombe also applied to extend Di Lusso's opening hours
by an hour to 4am.
The committee said it would announce its decision within the
next few days.