News, Events and Culture

New District Licensing Committee announced

Thursday December 19 2013

The Committee is established under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The objectives of the Act are to minimise the harm caused by excessive and inappropriate drinking and that the sale and supply of alcohol is undertaken safely and responsibly.

The DLC will consider all applications for on-licences, off-licences, club licences, special licences, temporary authorities, and manager's certificates.

Mayor Jono Naylor says the changes to the alcohol laws will allow our communities to have a greater say over licensing matters.

"In recent years we've heard members of communities in Palmerston North voice their concerns around how alcohol is sold in their suburbs."

"I'm really pleased we're doing away with a one-size fits all approach and moving towards more direct community involvement in the decision making process."

Other features of these changes include:
• providing broader grounds for public objections i.e. impact on the amenity and good order of the locality
• requiring express consent of a parent or guardian before supplying alcohol to a minor
• requiring anyone who supplies alcohol to under 18-year-olds to do so responsibly
• strengthening the rules around the types of stores eligible to sell alcohol
• introducing maximum default trading hours for licensed premises
• restricting supermarket and grocery store alcohol displays to a single area
• introducing an infringement notice offence for breach of liquor control bylaws
• broadening the definition of public place which now extends to previously excluded areas such as car parks and school grounds.

Customer Services General Manager Peter Eathorne says Council staff have been working on the implementation of the Act for some time. "Procedurally," he says, "it will place some pressure on Council staff and there will be costs associated with the implementation of the Act and running of the DLC."

"I'm really pleased, however, with the effort put into this project by a cross-Council group of staff who have implemented changes and prepared the organisation for those changes."

Anyone wanting to view the new requirements can visit www.pncc.govt.nz and look for the alcohol page.

Five individuals have been appointed to act on Palmerston North's District Licensing Committee, they are:

Murray Torwick has been appointed as the chairperson of the DLC. For 25 years he served as a police officer and during this time held various positions including liquor licensing sergeant, a member of the Organised Crime Unit, O/C Tactical Patrol and O/C Negotiators, sectional sergeant and prosecutions, and dog handler. Murray has a proven track record as a project manager and has formally trained in planning, organisation and command. Murray has formal police training in many legal areas including evidence, health and safety, sale of alcohol and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Anthony (Tony) Brown was general manager of Massey University Students' Association for over 15 years and he project managed the new Massey Student bar. Tony a managing director of Loss Control Management Systems for three years following which he was a safety consultant with the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Graeme Newbery recently retired as 2IC Traffic Support Unit with the Police after a 37 year career. For about ten years he was the Health & Safety representative for the Police Association. Graeme is an experienced training instructor from his time with the Ministry of Transport and the Police.

Natalie Noble is employed as a service manager with the Department of Corrections. She has significant experience in the hearing process through participation with the Parole Board and District Court, and Chairing the Benefit Review Committee with Work and Income. Natalie's 14 years as a probation officer has given her experience in community safety and risk analysis.

Nikki Guy was for the last three years a City Councillor, a Resource Management Act Hearings Commissioner and a Board Member of the Manawatū/Whanganui Lotteries Commission. She has a strong understanding of both council and government regulation including a good understanding of meeting and hearing procedures.