14 Dec 2012

Liquor licence cost 'likely to rise'

5:16 am on 14 December 2012

Local councils are warning of large hikes in the price of liquor licences as a result of a new alcohol law.

The Government this week passed its Alcohol Reform Bill which allows councils to set their own maximum trading hours, control where liquor outlets are located and have greater control over whether licenses are granted.

The councils will also be able to set a one-way door restriction for bars and clubs.

Councils say their workload will grow dramatically over the next year as they set up local district licensing committees, create policy and hire more staff to deal with the added responsibilities.

Liquor licensing projects officer at Dunedin City Council, Kevin Mechen, says some businesses could have to pay five times what they previously paid for licenses as the cost is passed on.

Wellington City Council principal advisor Jaime Dyhrberg expects the community will be asking the council to look at issues of hours of operation, number of liquor outlets and applications for new alcohol premises.