Dunedin bars 'offered punters cheap drinks to fill in surveys'

Colin Weatherall
Colin Weatherall
Dunedin bars offered punters cheap drinks to fill in surveys in support of licensees position against a draft liquor licensing policy for the city, Dunedin district licensing commissioner Colin Weatherall says.

Mr Weatherall kicked off the first day of Lap hearings in Dunedin with the bombshell accusation.

He said he had received direct reports of enticements to survey submitters.

The enticements were in the form of discounts and adjusted prices for drinks in hotels and establishments.

He did not think the majority of venues had offered enticements and was not able to say which submissions would have been so influenced.

That sort of behaviour clearly directly contradicted the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, Mr Weatherall said, but it would be up to the councillor committee considering the draft policy as to how much weight they gave the information.

The council received more than 4200 submissions, the vast majority of them on forms supplied by bar owners and the hospitality industry.

Dunedin Inner City Licensee Forum spokesman Richard Newcombe, who helped organise the campaign to fill in submissions, said he took offence at the accusation.

"That was not our intention or what we set out to do and we deny it entirely. "

He asked to see the evidence. If it was not able to be supplied it became an unfounded accusation, he said.



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