An application to sell Jägerbombs and vodka Red Bulls at a "high-energy" all-ages Fat Freddy's Drop outdoor concert in Tauranga this summer has sparked opposition from health and liquor licensing authorities.
A Tauranga District Licensing Committee hearing was held on Tuesday over Fuzen Entertainment's Limited's on-license application for the concert in Wharepai Domain on January 5.
The event organiser applied to sell a range of alcoholic beverages, including spirits in the form of RTDs, for up to $8.50 and 280ml pours of Red Bull energy drink mixed with either Jägermeister or vodka for $10 - no doubles or shots.
According to hearing documents, the Medical Officer of Health opposed the sale of spirits mixed with energy drinks at the event, concerned it may result in excessive drinking.
Licensing Inspector Gareth Young supported that view, saying it may be inappropriate to "sell the blend [of] energy drinks and alcohol at a high-energy outdoor concert".
Police did not oppose the application.
About 8000 people aged 15+ were expected to attend the ticketed event, part of the Trickle Down NZ Summer Tour, which would also feature performances by Troy Kingi, Norman Jay MBE and Salmonella Dub feat Tiki Taane.
Gates would open at 3pm and the event would run to 11pm.
In its application, Fuzen noted there would be bag searches, food and free water available, robust age checking and a limit of five drinks (three beer/cider/RTD and two wine/spirit) per purchase.
Toi Te Ora's Medical Officer of Health said the application should be refused, specifically opposing the sale of caffine-based energy drink and spirit mixes and the five drinks per transaction limit.
Dawn Meertens, acting for the medical officer, submitted that the "cocktails" may lead to risk-taking and that research had shown the combination, consumed in excess, "can lead to devastating effects".
She cited studies that found an increased risk of drink-driving and sexual victimisation, as well as health risks associated with excess consumption.
"The Medical Officer of Health would normally make recommendations to the committee,
should it decide to issue the licence; however he feels strongly about the mixture of these two products and requests the licence not be issued."
The committee was expected to release its written decision early next week.