Canterbury's Medical Officer of Health is disappointed the council's bent the knee to the alcohol industry.
Councillors have decided to put a hold on the Local Alcohol Policy - despite having spent more than $1 million on the process since 2013.
Dr Alistair Humphrey said as a result, the hospitality sector will continue to chase the drunken dollar.
''Unfortunately our community, our doctors, nurses and police will be picking up the pieces over the next 18 months.''
He said those who claim there is no evidence that says earlier closing times would reduce alcohol-related harm, are wrong.
''There are peaks in the emergency department presentations for alcohol-related problems. The later you go, the later the problems present.''