Policy coming into play at city bars

Under the policy all bars will be forced to  operate a one-way door policy at 2.30am and close at...
Under the policy all bars will be forced to operate a one-way door policy at 2.30am and close at 3am. Photo: ODT files
Even without a city-wide alcohol policy, Dunedin’s alcohol authorities are successfully pushing a blanket one-way door clause on the city’s bars and night clubs.

A district licensing hearing scheduled for last week was cancelled after the applicant - Carousel bar owner John Devereux - pulled his appeal against a one-way door clause being applied to his bar’s alcohol licence.

The clause was added when the  licence was renewed in February.

When contacted, Mr Devereux said he did not want to discuss the reason for withdrawing the appeal but said he was not against the clauses.

He was concerned the three local agencies, police, Southern District Health Board and Dunedin City Council, had taken it upon themselves to impose a blanket 3am one-way door policy.

Ultimately, it was easier to accept the policy rather than fight it, he said.

Council licensing inspector Tony Mole said there were only a handful of bars left in the Octagon, Princes St and George St area which did not have a one-way door clause as part of their alcohol licences.

Those bars which did not already have it place would have one added when their licence came up for renewal or would be covered when the city’s local alcohol policy came into effect.

Under the policy all bars will be forced to  operate a one-way door policy at 2.30am and close at 3am.

There is still no indication when the policy will become official, despite the council voting to adopt it earlier this year, Mr Mole said.

Dunedin alcohol alcohol harm prevention officer Sergeant Ian Paulin said there was no recent statistical evidence which show improved behaviour after the implementation of a one-way door policy.

But anecdotally there had been a drop in violence in the central city as patrons gradually left bars after  3am, Sgt Paulin said.

An earlier one-way door would not have much impact but the earlier closing time would "significantly" reduce the impact of alcohol harm in the central city, he said.

One-way door clauses were effective because they reduced the impact of closing times by drip-feeding patrons away from the bars, into taxis and away from town.



It seems to me that you are only allowed to do business in Dunedin if the right groups say you can do so and under only under their conditions.
If the SDHB, NZ Police and DCC want to make the one-way door "not policy" into actual policy then they should do so in the correct manner which allows for proper public debate; not by forcing the "not policy" on business owners by stealth.
Why are these three groups permitted to force such a policy on legitimate businesses with the threat of appeal after expensive appeal hanging over their business heads if they do not comply?