An application to extend the outside areas of Mac's Brew Bar
and Di Lusso for Orientation tomorrow night has been declined
by the district licensing committee.
Its members said Orientation activities, coupled with the
Highlanders' first Super Rugby game of the season at Forsyth
Barr Stadium, did not constitute an event for the city.
Therefore a special licence to extend the area of Mac's Brew
Bar and Di Lusso was not warranted, the committee decided.
Richard Newcombe, director of Dunedin Hospitality Ltd (Mac's
Brew Bar) and Di Lusso Ltd, applied for the special licence
to cater for the thousands more people expected in the
Octagon tomorrow night.
But the application was opposed by Dr Keith Reid, of Public
Health South, who said harm from increased alcohol
consumption arising from the application contravened the Sale
and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
Dr Reid said the intent of the new legislation, implemented
on December 18 last year, was to reduce 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,'' he said.
Dr Reid also questioned whether it was appropriate to grant a
licence which allowed alcohol to be served in areas subject
to a liquor ban.
He did not think a rugby game at the time of Orientation
could be classed as an event warranting a special licence
under the Act.
Dunedin alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Ian Paulin
supported Dr Reid's opposing submission.
At a hearing for the application on Monday Mr Newcombe said
if his premises were enlarged more people could be contained
within security-controlled areas.
Therefore, there would be fewer people wandering about the
central city causing problems for police, he said.
More security staff than bar staff were rostered to work
tomorrow night, Mr Newcombe said.
He and bar managers took their responsibilities under the Act
seriously, and it was common for hundreds of people to be
denied entry on a weekend night because they were
intoxicated, he said.