An application for a special licence to open Octagon bar
Ratbags to screen Fifa World Cup games has been turned down.
Owners Grant and Phil Ellis applied to open the bar for World
Cup matches, kicking off at 4am and 7am, to cater for
football fans throughout the tournament, which runs from June
13 to July 14.
''We are extremely disappointed,'' Ellis Hospitality Group
general manager Phil Ellis said yesterday.
Once they had studied the decision in depth, a ''decision
relating to an appeal'' to the Alcohol Regulatory and
Licensing Authority would be made, he said.
The application, opposed by police, medical officer of health
and the licensing inspector, was heard by the Dunedin
District Licensing Committee last week.
In its decision, the committee declined the application on
the grounds the planning of the events did not take into
account the high risk location of the premises and the
potential for problems associated with the closure of nearby
premises at 4am.
''There needed to be a mechanism in place to separate the
bona fide football patrons from the rest of the public, who
may wish to continue drinking.''
During the hearing it was debated whether the application met
the test of being an ''event'' under legislation governing
The committee decided it was one that might qualify for a
special licence but its planning was lacking.
It criticised the applicant for not supplying enough detail
before the hearing, saying it expected a complete submission
to be submitted on every occasion.
Little thought had been given to who might be at the event,
other than initial screening for intoxication, the committee
Although it was planned to eject people not interested in the
games, that might be easier said than done.
''Once the game has started, we have concerns that this may
There was also the concern that people leaving other closing
premises might head to Ratbags, which could lead to ''the
real possibility of an increase in disorder in the area''.
There was no plan offered to separate the event from the
normal trade in the area, the committee said.
Mr Ellis said they had made it clear to the committee the
application was not just a reason to open later in the
weekends and they had major marketing initiatives planned to
enhance the experience of the World Cup and make it a special
He believed the police and Public Health had failed to grasp
their intentions for the event.