Be good party hosts, urge police

By Imran Ali

Homeowners should emulate law-abiding licensed liquor premises by being responsible hosts as the end-of-the year party season in Northland kicks into gear, a senior police officer says.

Relieving police area commander for Whangarei/Kaipara, Inspector Tracey Phillips, said people preparing to host parties for families and friends at home and businesses treating their employees in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year must plan accordingly.

Her comments followed confirmation that Whangarei police will make applications to suspend liquor licences for non-compliant hospitality premises in the city.

Five out of eight premises were found to have breached their licences during checks by police, health staff and volunteers two weeks ago. Breaches included having uncertified security staff, allowing in intoxicated people and failure to provide substantial food on request. Similar checks are planned for the Far North before the year is out.

"We also want people to be thinking how they can be responsible at parties they host at homes by arranging for enough food and making sure those that attend do not drink and drive," Ms Phillips said.

She said safety messages were just as important for private functions as they were for businesses because most drinking was done at homes.

"Make sure people have a good party and they remember it the next day," she said.

She also reminded businesses hosting barbecues during summer or Christmas parties to look after their staff and to make sure they get home safely.

The Whangarei District Council has also called on the public to heed safety messages. Spokeswoman Rachel Pascoe said people should take care with barbecues and to make sure food was properly cooked, especially chicken.

- Northern Advocate

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