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Media Release - ARLA decision a great result for Auckland’s hospitality sector

Thursday, 20 July 2017

For Immediate Release

20 July 2017

The Auckland hospitality sector is hailing the Alcohol Regulatory Licencing Authority’s (ARLA) decision to overturn a majority of appeals regarding the Proposed Local Alcohol Policy (PLAP) a sensible and pragmatic decision that provides certainty for the sector's future and preserves Auckland’s vibrant night life.

In a decision released on Wednesday 19 July 2017, the majority of appeals against various elements of the PLAP did not succeed, including trading hours of on-licence premises.

The original PLAP set maximum trading hours for Auckland at 4am for the CBD, and 3am everywhere else. These hours were appealed by various parties, however ARLA ruled the appeal to reduce these further would not succeed.

“The process of developing Auckland’s Local Alcohol Policy began around five years ago, but started in earnest over four years ago with the introduction of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 which allowed Council’s to develop and implement a Local Alcohol Policy”, said Russell Gray, Auckland Branch President for Hospitality New Zealand.

“From the beginning the Auckland hospitality sector was part of the consultation process regarding the development of the PLAP.  While there were parts that we did not entirely agree with, after much discussion and on balance, given the robust process the Council undertook, we agreed to support the Provisional Local Alcohol Policy. That’s why it was so disappointing it was appealed by Police and other regulatory bodies and we had to go through another a very long, time consuming, expensive and resource intensive process to have these appeals overturned”.

“The setting of trading hours was part of a comprehensive total package that Council put together in its PLAP, and the hospitality industry is delighted the evidence put forward during the hearing supported the maximum trading hours stated in the PLAP (up to 4am)” he said. “Auckland's hospitality trading environment and its future viability was at risk and we are delighted, and relieved, with ARLA’s decision. Had the appeals to restrict hours even more been upheld, it would have had a devastating effect on the Auckland night-time economy, and on employment in the industry."

“What we would really like to see now ARLA has made its decision is Police, Council, and Health Agencies turning their focus to the misuse of alcohol in public places by individuals, rather than on-licence premises, which are the most monitored, controlled and scrutinised sellers of alcohol and are the safest places to socialise and drink”.

“The Council has developed a sensible, balanced, evidence-based policy in its entirety and we are pleased that the Policy will finally be able to be brought into force", Mr Gray said.

Vicki Lee, CEO for Hospitality New Zealand, said, “The outcome of the Auckland ARLA hearing is not just a win for our Auckland members but gives us some confidence of further sensible LAP outcomes throughout the country.  To date Councils around the country have spent upwards of $3 million consulting on LAPs. As a member based Association, we have spent around $500,000 supporting our members through the consultation process.This is money we and our members simply didn’t have, but we had to be part of the conversation to ensure the right outcome for the hospitality sector nationally.”

Media Enquiries:
Rachael Shadbolt
GM Communications
027 536 8045
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