Ongoing efforts by operators of licensed premises to reduce the harm from alcohol continue to be stifled by legislation that does not require New Zealanders to take responsibility for ourselves when we are drinking, according to Hospitality New Zealand.
Strict regulations imposed on operators of licensed premises are actively enforced by authorities such as Police and Councils. Allowing underage or intoxicated patrons on their premises can attract severe penalties for hospitality business-owners. "Sanctions to licence conditions and fines of up to $10,000 for breaching regulations mean that most licensees take this responsibility very seriously" says Hospitality New Zealand Auckland Branch President Kevin Schwass. "However we are frustrated by the lack of personal responsibility demanded of drinkers".
"Recent media coverage has highlighted a concerning increase in the occurrence of young people pre-loading on cheap take-away alcohol, before congregating on Auckland's streets and trying to enter bars" says Mr Schwass. "It is unfair to let responsible hospitality business-owners, and their staff shoulder the burden of this culture alone."
"The kind of behaviour on Auckland's streets shown within recent TV news stories, will continue while liquor bans are openly flouted, while parents allow their underage children to drink, and while drinkers are not held criminally liable for being intoxicated in a public place." Hospitality New Zealand believes politicians have a rare opportunity to assist with this situation right now, as they consider the contents of the Alcohol Reform Bill, before allowing it to pass into law later this year.
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