20 Jun 2013

Council votes to rein-in bars, alcohol sales

9:51 pm on 20 June 2013

Wellington City Councillors have voted to restrict the sale of alcohol at off-licence premises and extend a proposed central city entertainment precinct.

Councillors voting on the city's draft alcohol plan on Thursday chose to link together two suggested alcohol precincts along Courtenay Place and Cuba Street, to include Dixon Street.

Bars in the entertainment precinct will have to close by either 3am or 5am.

The council also passed an amendment imposing a 9pm cut-off for the sale of alcohol at off-licence premises throughout the city including supermarkets.

The amendment was proposed by councillor Iona Pannett, who said the restrictions would cut back on "pre-loading" - when cheap alcohol is consumed quickly at home.

Councillor Stephanie Cook said bar patron safety and consideration of city residents are paramount.

Representatives from major supermarket chains told the council there is no evidence of harm related to the sale of wine and beer through supermarkets.

One city bar owner said the 3am closing time would seriously impede his business, which has international acts playing.

Public submissions on the draft plan open on 2 July.