Bid to extend bar areas turned down

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.


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