Waikato: Community views sought on alcohol and gambling

Community views sought on alcohol and gambling

Waikato District Council wants your thoughts on alcohol licensing and gambling to help draft two new policies.

As part of the Council’s community driven approach to developing new policies a series of public meetings are being held throughout August and Council encourages everyone with an interest to come along:

• Monday 18 August: Raglan Town Hall Supper Room, 5.30 – 7pm
• Tuesday 19 August: Ngaruawahia War Memorial Hall, 5.30 – 7pm
• Wednesday 20 August: Huntly Riverside Room, 5.30 – 7pm
• Monday 25 August: Te Kauwhata St John Hall, 5.30 – 7pm
• Wednesday 27 August: Tuakau War Memorial Hall, 5.30pm – 7pm

The first policy is the Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) which deals with the licensing of premises to sell alcohol. This includes on-licensed premises (such as cafes, bars and taverns) and off-licensed premises (such as bottle stores and supermarkets) and special-licences (special events).

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act passed in 2012 allows for councils to develop a LAP for its territorial area, giving the community a chance to have a say in the licensing process. The location, number and opening hours of places which sell alcohol are covered.

Once a LAP is in place, the local District Licensing Committee and the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority must have regard to the LAP when making decisions on licence applications.

The second policy is a review of Council’s existing gambling policies which cover the former Franklin district area and the original Waikato district area.

The review will result in one policy with a consistent district-wide approach. The policy covers how many gambling venues and pokie machines should be allowed and where they should be located. Online betting and gambling have become much more common in recent years too. If you would like to learn how to bet on sports then you will find plenty of support online.

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General Manager Customer Support Sue Duignan says Council is working hard to ensure the policies have strong community input.

“Both alcohol licensing and gambling are subjects which many people hold strong views on, so it’s vital we get the views of a wide range of residents and organisations as we develop these new policies. That’s why we’re giving two opportunities to comment – through the public meetings which will inform the new policies, and in November/December when we formally consult on the draft policies. Make sure you share your views.”

Initial feedback was collected through a survey conducted in 2013 and will be used with the feedback from the public meetings in drafting the two policies.

Come along to a public meeting near you to learn more.ENDS

Author: betterblokesnz