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Council hits pause on new closing times for CBD bars

Author
Bay of Plenty Times,
Publish Date
Wed, 6 Dec 2023, 1:38PM
The change to the Local Alcohol Policy was made by Tauranga City Council’s strategy risk and finance committee on October 30.
The change to the Local Alcohol Policy was made by Tauranga City Council’s strategy risk and finance committee on October 30.

Council hits pause on new closing times for CBD bars

Author
Bay of Plenty Times,
Publish Date
Wed, 6 Dec 2023, 1:38PM

Tauranga City Council has hit pause on adopting an updated Local Alcohol Policy which included an earlier closing time bars in Tauranga’s CBD. 

It follows several requests from people wanting to discuss the impacts of the changes, the council said in a statement. 

Changes to the Local Alcohol Policy were made by Tauranga City Council’s strategy risk and finance committee on October 30. 

Under those changes, bars in the city centre would have had to close at 2am instead of 3am from February, and one-way door restrictions would have started at 1am 

People would also not have been able to enter a licensed premise after 1am, and if they left, would not have been able to return. 

At the time, bars in the CBD expressed concern an earlier closing time would be tough on businesses that were already quiet. 

Commission chairwoman Anne Tolley said commissioners had asked to revisit the policy so they had time to think about how it would work in practice. 

”I’ve been contacted by various groups who want to talk to us. 

“People like supermarket owners, those who sell alcohol along with other things, and those in downtown hospitality businesses. 

”There isn’t time before Christmas to give fair consideration to their requests and I also want to talk to police again. 

“We may end up in the same place, but we need more time to meet with groups and have another conversation.” 

The Local Alcohol Policy also included other changes, such as shifting the time shops with an off-licence could start selling alcohol from 7am to 10am. New liquor stores would not be allowed to open in areas with a deprivation index of nine or more. 

The committee felt that on balance, changes to the policy would help reduce alcohol harm in the community, the council’s statement said. 

The changes were to come into effect on February 12, 2024 but the council would now reconsider the policy in the New Year. 

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