Len Brown: 'Speedy passage' of alcohol bill needed

Auckland Mayor Len Brown. File photo / Getty Images
Auckland Mayor Len Brown. File photo / Getty Images

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is urging Parliament to pass the alcohol law reform legislation soon, so communities can prepare to use the new rules effectively.

Speaking to the Hospitality New Zealand conference in Wellington this afternoon, Mr Brown said he wanted communities and the industry to be able to engage in local solutions to alcohol-related issues.

"We need a speedy passage of the Alcohol Reform Bill so we can get on with the job of giving local communities more say over the number, location and opening hours of liquor outlets and the policies that regulate alcohol in their areas.

"The most important provision in the bill is the requirement for territorial authorities to establish Local Alcohol Plans so this can happen."

He said the Auckland Council had already started work on how these would roll out.

"The community has told us loud and clear that they want more say over the location and opening hours of liquor outlets.

"Our concern is that inherent delays in the way the bill is drafted mean it will be at least 16 months before Local Alcohol Plans can be operative, and I have made [Justice Minister Judith Collins] aware of those concerns."

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee was negotiating with parties on when the legislation would be brought back to Parliament.

A spokesman for his office said it would return on October 23 or 24.

- APNZ

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