Too many liquor licences?

‘Proliferation’ in Peel Street says tavern objector.

‘Proliferation’ in Peel Street says tavern objector.

Claims of a proliferation of bars in Peel Street, made at a District Licensing Committee hearing, were not supported by police at an application for the renewal of an on-licence in the area.

Lizz Crawford objected to the renewal of the on-licence by VCM Ltd for Uncle Val’s bar in Peel Street, on the basis that the premises was not a tavern and was used primarily for gambling, in breach of the Gambling Act and Gisborne District Council’s gambling venue policy.

On the basis of legal advice she had received, she would appeal any decision that did not recognise that, she said.

The application was not opposed by police, the District Council or the Medical Officer of Health.

The committee adjourned to consider its decision.

In her submission to the committee, Ms Crawford said there were three class A gambling venues in close proximity to each other that all had on-licences. That created the same environment as a pokie casino.

There was evidence of a proliferation of alcohol in the central business district and there were residential tenants in the Westlake Hotel, she submitted.

There was also an issue of location in terms of alcohol and gaming close to the community.

Committee member Peter Williamson asked police sergeant Isaac Ngatai if he shared the view of Ms Crawford that there was a proliferation of alcohol venues in the area.

“I don’t know about a proliferation,” said Sgt Ngatai.

No incident in which police had to engage

Since Val Morrison had taken over the bar there had not been any incident in which police had to engage.

The bar was always busy on Friday and Saturday nights, particularly during the sports season. The bar side was always close to capacity.

“So I think it runs as a tavern,” he said.

Tavern operator Val Morrison said he had taken the objection to the renewal of the licence almost personally.

They had worked hard to change the image of the premises. It was regarded as a safe and comfortable environment and they had worked hard to protect that.

Ms Crawford said it was not personal.

Committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said it was acknowledged in the report that he had improved the atmosphere completely.

Chief licensing inspector Judith Robertson said in her inspection report there were no matters to indicate that VCM Ltd was not a suitable entity or that Val and Christine Morrison were not suitable to continue to hold a licence for the sale and supply of alcohol.

The application appeared to meet the objectives of the Act and the criteria relating to the renewal of licences.

Claims of a proliferation of bars in Peel Street, made at a District Licensing Committee hearing, were not supported by police at an application for the renewal of an on-licence in the area.

Lizz Crawford objected to the renewal of the on-licence by VCM Ltd for Uncle Val’s bar in Peel Street, on the basis that the premises was not a tavern and was used primarily for gambling, in breach of the Gambling Act and Gisborne District Council’s gambling venue policy.

On the basis of legal advice she had received, she would appeal any decision that did not recognise that, she said.

The application was not opposed by police, the District Council or the Medical Officer of Health.

The committee adjourned to consider its decision.

In her submission to the committee, Ms Crawford said there were three class A gambling venues in close proximity to each other that all had on-licences. That created the same environment as a pokie casino.

There was evidence of a proliferation of alcohol in the central business district and there were residential tenants in the Westlake Hotel, she submitted.

There was also an issue of location in terms of alcohol and gaming close to the community.

Committee member Peter Williamson asked police sergeant Isaac Ngatai if he shared the view of Ms Crawford that there was a proliferation of alcohol venues in the area.

“I don’t know about a proliferation,” said Sgt Ngatai.

No incident in which police had to engage

Since Val Morrison had taken over the bar there had not been any incident in which police had to engage.

The bar was always busy on Friday and Saturday nights, particularly during the sports season. The bar side was always close to capacity.

“So I think it runs as a tavern,” he said.

Tavern operator Val Morrison said he had taken the objection to the renewal of the licence almost personally.

They had worked hard to change the image of the premises. It was regarded as a safe and comfortable environment and they had worked hard to protect that.

Ms Crawford said it was not personal.

Committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said it was acknowledged in the report that he had improved the atmosphere completely.

Chief licensing inspector Judith Robertson said in her inspection report there were no matters to indicate that VCM Ltd was not a suitable entity or that Val and Christine Morrison were not suitable to continue to hold a licence for the sale and supply of alcohol.

The application appeared to meet the objectives of the Act and the criteria relating to the renewal of licences.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Lizz Crawford - 7 months ago
It matters not what we think the venue is used for. It matters what the public use the venue for. The test is well established; if the venue gets money from gambling more than the activities of its tavern licence, the venue is used primarily for gambling - such as the Kaiti Sportsbar case.
It is against the Gambling Act 2003 (GA 2003) to have gambling as the primary activity under our sinking lid policy and section 101(4)(f) of the GA 2003. The finances are one way of determining this and more than likely an official information request to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) regarding section 104(1) of the GA 2003 would establish this, as every venue must have a dedicated account for all class 4 gambling banking. This is an extremely accurate method of knowing the amount of pokie funds going through the venue.
Our territorial authority has the power to decide the primary activity of the venue, and may specify any restrictions to the number of pokies at a venue. Our territorial authority has a strong role in deciding licensing conditions at each venue in Tairawhiti; this is not only in the hands of the DIA or Ministerial decision making. The floor area at SkyCity holds 2100 pokies and over 150 table games - it is not hard to see how pokie casinos are created when venues are in such close proximity to each other. Four venues in Peel Street have 72 pokies between them - that's close to half of all pokies in Tairawhiti, with bars at three of these venues. One pokie machine per venue ought to help pubs and clubs maintain their alcohol licenses at an average of $55,555 per machine. A stroke of a pen is such a powerful thing.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you think Simon Bridges will still be leader of the National Party at the next election?