Tauranga City Council has hit pause on adopting an updated Local Alcohol Policy following several requests from people wanting to discuss the impacts of the changes.
Commission chair Anne Tolley says commissioners have asked to revisit the policy, so they have time to think about how it would work in practice.
“I’ve been contacted by various groups who want to talk to us. People like supermarket owners, those who sell alcohol along with other things, and those in downtown hospitality businesses,” Anne says.
“There isn’t time before Christmas to give fair consideration to their requests and I also want to talk to Police again. We may end up in the same place, but we need more time to meet with groups and have another conversation.”
Last month, the council’s Strategy, Finance and Risk Committee made the following decisions in relation to the Local Alcohol Policy:
- Changing the opening sales time for all off-licensed premises from 7am to 10am (this includes supermarkets, bottle stores and grocery stores (where a ‘grocery store’ has an off-licence)
- No new bottle stores in areas where the deprivation index is 9 or 10.
- A change to the closing time for on-licensed premises in the city centre to 2am, instead of the current 3am closing time.
- A change to the one-way door policy which to start at 1am, instead of the current 2am.
The committee felt that on balance, changes to the Policy would help reduce alcohol harm in the community.
The changes were to come into effect on 12 February 2024, but Council will now reconsider the policy in the New Year.