Greens welcome more responsible RWC booze bill

The Government’s decision to accept the Green Party’s request to bring a responsible Bill to Parliament to allow more bars to open during the Rugby World Cup games, is being welcomed by the Greens

The Green Party yesterday denied leave for an Act Party Bill that would have allowed every licenced premises in New Zealand to stay open in the morning, during many of the 48 rugby world cup games, regardless of where that pub was, or what previous licensing restrictions it had been subject to.

“We wrote to the National Party yesterday asking it to bring a more responsible Government Bill to the house, stating that we are happy to work with all political parties on a more measured Bill that let us all watch the rugby with our friends, but wasn’t so irresponsibly broad,” Green Party Health spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“David Seymour’s Bill would have meant any bar, even ones that had repeatedly been in trouble with the police, to sell booze till 8 or 9am for every one of the 48 World Cup games, regardless of police or community concerns. If we hadn’t denied leave that Bill would be the one before Parliament now.

“This morning the Government has said it is working on a more considered Bill. I love rugby, and I love having a beer while I watch rugby with my friends so I’m as keen as anyone to see responsible bars allowed to open to screen the important World Cup matches, but the law needs to be workable.

“Our letter to National stated our preference for any new Bill be one that:

-       Applies only to All Blacks games

-       Restricts the geographic areas that bars can open (i.e. limits on residential areas and bars that are in proximity to schools)

-       Restricts application to bars that have good records i.e. bars that are or have recently been in breach of liquor licencing rules should not be included

“The Government is much better placed than a sole Act MP to use Government legal and policy advisors to draft a more well-constructed Bill and then use the normal Parliamentary process to bring it to the House. We are open to supporting a Government measure that addresses our concerns,” Mr Hague said.

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