Council defers alcohol policy decision


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Hamilton City Council has opted to defer deliberations and decision-making on their draft Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) following receiving and hearing submissions on the draft policy last month.

20 Councils across New Zealand are currently facing appeals on their LAPs and it is likely Hamilton City Council would face the same outcome if they were to approve their LAP, which is in the draft stage.

Two appeals have been scheduled so far. Waimakariri District Council has been scheduled for 28 July and Tasman District Council for 4 August. These are the first appeals to be heard and will essentially be test cases. Hamilton City Council will await the outcomes of these before proceeding with their LAP.
Mayor Julie Hardaker believes it’s wise to wait and see what happens with other Council’s LAPs following the appeal process.
“It makes sense that we defer our decision-making until we know the outcomes of the scheduled appeals. It wouldn’t be cost effective or efficient to continue at this point as we would most likely ‘join the cue’ for appeals. The last thing this Council wants is to spend ratepayers money fighting legal battles unnecessarily,” says Mayor Hardaker.
Five corporates are consistently appealing to the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority in relation to off-licence trading hours and location restrictions as well as objectives and principles of other Council’s LAPs.
There are no statutory timeframes for Councils to develop LAPs so by waiting for the appeals to go through the court process, Hamilton City Council has the opportunity to take in to consideration issues and options raised through the appeal process. Until Hamilton has an LAP in place, the District Licensing Committee will consider the default trading hours of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2013 for any licence applications.

View Hamilton City Council’s draft LAP

Page reviewed: 30 Apr 2014 12:00am