Buller District Council

Council to decide on next steps with Draft Local Alcohol Policy

4th March, 2014

The Buller District Council has received 320 submissions on its Draft Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) from industry groups, health agencies, community groups and members of the public.

The main issues addressed by submitters were the restrictions on operating hours for licensed premises and the proposal that no new off-licences be granted for stand-alone bottle stores in Buller.

The majority of the submissions, 261 out of the 320, were received on the forms that were available from licensed premises throughout the district.  Around 50 submitters have indicated that they would like to be heard in support of their submission.

The full submissions will be circulated to all councillors this week so they can consider the views put forward before deciding how to progress with the development of the LAP.  A report will go to the March Council meeting asking Council to decide on the next steps, including how any hearing of submitters will proceed.  The report will also include an update of where other councils are with their LAPs.

“A number of councils have now held hearings on their draft LAPs and have subsequently released and publicly notified their decisions in accordance with the process outlined in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.   We are already seeing appeals on these decisions coming from the liquor industry and the supermarket chains on operating hours for on and off licences.  The Buller District Council will be keeping a close eye on how these appeals are progressing and may consider delaying publicly notifying any decisions on the LAP until after these appeals have been heard”, comments Deputy Mayor Graeme Neylon, who chairs Council’s LAP working group..

“This is quite within the process as outlined in the legislation and in fact a number of councils, both small and large, are adopting this approach so as not to be drawn into what could be a costly appeal process.”

“In the mean-time the District Licencing Committee will still be dealing with licencing matters under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, but will not be taking into consideration the effects of the LAP.”


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