14 Dec 2009

Queenstown bars lose fight over closing time

12:32 pm on 14 December 2009

Queenstown bar owners have lost their fight to overturn a blanket 4am closing time in the resort town.

The Court of Appeal has rejected a legal challenge to an earlier decision which upheld the Queenstown Lakes District Council's plan to force all bars to close at 4am.

The council withdrew 24-hour licensing following community concerns about drunken violence and disorder in the town.

The appeal was spearheaded by Good Group Limited, one of the biggest players in Queenstown's liquor industry.

Good Group chief executive Russell Gray has called the decision a backward step and says it was founded on a raft of misinformation.

But police say the new closing time will help to curb violence and drunken disorder.