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Ratbags and its upstairs bar, Innocent Bystander, look set to be the fifth premises in the Octagon/lower Stuart St area to have the policy imposed, if the District Licensing Committee agrees to the proposal by police, the medical officer of health and the Dunedin City Council's licensing inspector.
The idea has not impressed bar owner Philip Ellis, who told the committee yesterday an unrestricted 4am closing time was his right.
In February, New Zealand's major supermarket chains successfully fought Dunedin City Council efforts to restrict alcohol sales in the city when the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority ruled that parts of the council's local alcohol policy (LAP) were ''unreasonable''.
The LAP would have limited supermarkets' off-licence hours, but also included a 2.30am one-way door policy and 3am closing for most inner-city bars.
A report on Mr Ellis' application from District Licensing Committee secretary Kevin Mechen said no public objections had been received.
The suitability of Mr Ellis had not been challenged, but all the reporting agencies - police, the medical officer of health and the licensing inspector - had submitted adverse reports.
They had ''all raised similar matters in opposition''.
One was to recommend a 3am one-way door policy, in which only those already in the bar could continue drinking until 4am.
There was also concern there was only one duty manager in charge of what was effectively two bars - Ratbags and the upstairs bar.
Ratbags also used an area on the footpath in front of the premises, but the area was not part of the licensed premises, so was in breach of conditions by allowing people to remove alcohol from the licensed area.
On the one-way door policy, alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Ian Paulin said the initiative was commonplace in the industry around the world.
It was a proven method of reducing violence in high-risk areas.
Most central city premises had them.
He said there could be ''a honey pot effect'' in which people shifted to premises without one-way door policies, and there needed to be a level playing field.
Medical officer of health delegate Toni Paterson said Australian research showed the policy had reduced violence in Kings Cross, in Sydney, by 49%.
Licensing inspector Tony Mole went through a list of Octagon and Stuart St bars, which showed four of 11 had the policy as a condition of their licence.
Mr Mole said after the meeting because the LAP had been stopped by the court, the one-way door policy was being progressively introduced when licences came up for renewal.
Mr Ellis told the committee his business managed the bar to the best of its ability.
''We're allowed to open till 4am, and we want to stay that way.''
He said he felt opening to 4am was ''our right''.
''I don't think there's any reason we, as a business, should be restricted.
''We've got a clean record.''
He told licensing committee deputy chairman Andrew Noone the bar had ''custom in the bar after 3 o'clock which is good custom''.
''It's their right to be served.''
Mr Ellis also denied there was a ''honey pot effect''.
He described that as ''pie in the sky''.
Committee chairman Colin Weatherall adjourned the meeting so the committee could come to a decision.