Invercargill avoids ‘prohibition’

Chris Ramsay
Chris Ramsay
Invercargill residents will still be able to buy alcohol during lockdown as the city’s supply is managed within a licensing trust area.

Invercargill Licensing Trust chief executive Chris Ramsay said it was advised of the decision at 10pm on Tuesday.

Before that, he worked to ensure the Government was aware of the “unique trading situations” they worked with.

Those trading situations were that Invercargill residents could not buy alcohol from the supermarket, but it instead had to be purchased from bottle stores.

“The implications of a country-wide closure of bottle stores would mean that areas like Invercargill would be put back in the prohibition era.”

He said when they became aware there would be business closures, he worked to ensure the government was aware of the implications it would have.

“Just to let them know that if their intention was to ensure that all the same products and services were available throughout the country, that they perhaps ensured licensing trusts were exempt from bottle store closures, If their intention was not to do that then that was ultimately their call.”

He could not clarify which government imposed restrictions or conditions they would have to work to, but they would adhere to them once they were set. They were likely to know this week.

He said four areas maintained trading rights: The Invercargill Licensing Trust, Mataura Licensing Trust, Waitakere Licensing Trust and Portage Licensing Trust.

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