22 Jan 2015

Knockback for bar opening hours

7:27 pm on 22 January 2015

An alcohol authority has knocked back Wellington City Council's bid to keep central city bars open until 5am.

The Southern Cross Garden Bar in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Alex Ashton

The council wanted to extend by an hour opening hours from the current 4am closing time but police and health authorities appealed against that.

In a decision released to media today, the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority ruled in favour of the appellants.

It said since legislation came in capping on-licence alcohol sales at 4am, there had been fewer people sent to hospital with booze-related injuries.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown told Checkpoint bars were mostly very well-managed.

"When you can go down and buy RTDs at a dollar a can, it's very difficult to use the tool of bar opening hours to make a difference to many people."

Ms Wade-Brown said the council had not yet decided whether it would appeal the decision or stick with the default national closing time of 4am.

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