More voice over liquor licensing

The local community will have a greater say on alcohol licensing through the establishment of local liquor licensing committees.

Following the adoption of the Alcohol Reform Bill in Parliament at the end of last year, councils will also have more power to restrict the location of licensed premises and to limit the number of premises within an area.

However, Stratford District Council's director community and environmental services Mike Avery says he doubts the changes will achieve the aim of curbing New Zealand's binge drinking culture.

Merely attempting to restrict the legal availability of alcohol does not restrict the demand for it, he said in documentation tabled before the council on Tuesday.

Areas where there is controversy over licence applications might benefit from the change, but for Stratford it just adds more bureaucratic tape, he said.

The council would develop a local alcohol policy and call for nominations for the two public seats on the local liquor licensing committee.

- Stratford Press

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