11 pm closing in Auckland

September 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Hundreds of bars and restaurants will be forced to close at 11pm under planned city council liquor law changes.

The council wants all on-licence premises outside the CBD closed by 11pm, unless they are situated in entertainment precincts such as Ponsonby Rd, Parnell Rd, Newmarket or Mission Bay.

I’m glad I live in Wellington!

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30 Responses to “11 pm closing in Auckland”

  1. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    God they are retarded. I mean it wont effect me, I live centrally, but not everyone does, and its a pretty arbitory time for a restaurant to close, if you started with a late dinner at a nice restaurant.

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  2. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Did Auckland elect the fun Police?

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  3. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Aaron Bhatnagar is unrepentant, backing this policy even after he’s been shown its effects.

    This is nanny-statism, pure and simple. Telling people who live in the suburbs that they have to be home and in bed by 11. Sure, there is reason not to have some restrictions on where and when things close, but this would kill a great number of lively places that are harming no-one.

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  4. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Hope this won’t apply for RWC 2011. The Kingsland bars will be spewing.

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  5. Aaron Bhatnagar (43 comments) says:

    Hi all,

    There is some significant misunderstanding about what is being proposed and is out for consultation.

    1. It is proposed that a licensee in a suburb would only have an 11pm closing if they didn’t meet certain standards, like having a clean record, security and server training. If they meet these higher standards, they could stay open until 12pm. If a bar only wants to meet the bare minimum standards, then 11pm would apply. If they want to longer hours, then we want them to meet higher standards. I imagine many local bars and restaurants would be keen to do this, and they may already be doing this already.

    2. It is proposed that licensees in entertainment precincts can have a 3am closing time if they meet those above standards. Entertainment precincts means strips like Parnell, Ponsonby, Kingsland etc.

    3. The CBD and Viaduct can have 24 hr opening hours if they meet additional standards like CCTV.

    We are keen to incentivise those licensees who will meet additional levels of host responsibility, in order to promote healthier drinking environs.

    Another misunderstanding is what is proposed for RWC2011. Govt is providing for special licensing for this period.

    What the new proposal does allow for is consistency, fairness and transparency, which there isn’t at the moment with varying hours for licensees in the same area. The current policy is adhoc and subjective.

    One thing that has become clear in this morning’s Herald is that the boundaries for some of these areas could be amended. For example, I note there is a bar called the Kings Arms which plays live music, falling outside of the CBD in Newton. However, it is in a light industrial area. Because we are out for consultation, we can specifically review this, and other causes for consideration.

    We look forward to hearing from stakeholders in the consultation process.

    Regards
    Cr Aaron Bhatnagar
    Chairman, City Development
    Auckland City Council

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  6. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    Aaron;

    Sorry, but this is chicanery. What about places like St Heliers, Kohimaramara, etc? What is the problem with people enjoying a drink at a neighbourhood bar that they can walk home from, without relying on piecemeal transport (which the council should be working on bringing up to standard well before frigging around with bars) or driving home drunk? I don’t know if you’ve been to town on a Saturday night lately, but I’d much rather prefer a drink in my neighbourhood than risk getting bottled for no reason in town.

    This is severely backwards thinking, and there are many more important things for the councils to be worrying about.

    Regardez
    DED.

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  7. Grant (443 comments) says:

    “It is proposed that a licensee in a suburb would only have an 11pm closing if they didn’t meet certain standards, like having a clean record, security and server training. If they meet these higher standards, they could stay open until 12pm.”
    12pm!! How very generous of you Mr Bhatnagar, still, one cant have the wage slaves out in the ‘burbs spending too long pissing it up in their local can one.
    I have read plenty of your missives over the last few years and only now you come across as a lefty, “Stakeholders” indeed. Did ever occur to you that people may want to avoid those areas designated as entertainment precincts for no other reason than that’s where so many other people go?
    G

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  8. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    IMO the proposal is out of touch with the entertainment habits of patrons. Going out ‘late’ is now common practice and with the younger generation leading the change this will only become more ingrained.

    It seems to me the council is trying to dictate the play-time of adults in our city. People CHOOSE to go out late, as they do in every metropolitan city in the world.

    We already have by-laws covering excessive noise and police can shut down any place if they feel the crowd is out of control.

    Goverment and councils seem all to eager to introduce new laws when the current ones are perfectly adequate though poorly enforced. The cell phones in cars ban being the latest example.

    If there are problems with licencing and consistancy, try applying current law first.

    Stop meddling in peoples live and businesses.

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  9. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    I think there are two different things here:
    – the impact on surrounding residents, who might prefer that they didn’t live next door to a bar that is open till 3am
    – the impact on people who want to go out, who might prefer that bars open all night

    I think it makes sense to balance these two things. I’m not sure that this proposal has that balance right.
    a) Areas where there aren’t residents to be bothered, or arguably those residents have accepted the bother by living there, should permit extended opening hours. Yep, meets that test, question is whether all those areas are included. Aaron is indicating that the review process would allow more areas to be added if they meet this standard.

    b) Venues that will take steps to minimise the nuisance value to local residents will be given longer hours than venues that don’t. Again makes sense, but I’m not sure if the list Aaron gives is exhaustive or sufficient, and I’m not convinced that the hours chosen are right (those who live next door to a pub might think 11pm is a bit late, those who want to visit it might think 11pm is a bit early)

    I can see some logic, which is a nice thing from a council, but I’m not sure the detail is ironed out quite right as yet.

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  10. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Without Libertines, what need would there be for regulation?

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  11. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    Paul,

    Most bars I know are limited to 1AM as it stands. I know of very few residential bars that open until 3AM. And Aaron has indicated that bars may be permitted to stay open until 12 at the latest unless they fall into so-called ‘entertainment precincts’, which conveniently ignore the fact that not everyone wants to go to bars in town and be subjected to door policies such as “no entry unless you’re accompanied by one, sometimes two females”.

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Well FMD gently. Haven’t you idiots got something better to do than drink piss all night?

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  13. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    “no entry unless you’re accompanied by one, sometimes two females”.

    I thought it would be against the human rights laws for lesbian bars to enforce this policy. Where are Dunnes commissoners when you really need them.

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  14. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    They’ve had their way with fags, tasty food and funny jokes.

    Now they’re after alcohol.

    Resist!

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  15. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    My folks used to have an entertainment venue out in the sticks (Waitakere) as part of their vineyard.
    People built houses near it because it was nice looking out over the vineyard.
    But then started the endless bitching about vineyard activities, tractor noises, music noises, 7 different licenses needed ( I shit you not) and endless payments for inspections of everything you can imagine courtesy of the council.
    The killer.. the Waitakere ranges bill…..
    Short version of a long shitty story is personal land rights were stolen, anybody speaking out against it was lied about (ad hominem) and the folks had to sell out for fuck all of what the facility was worth. Screwed up their retirement real good that they worked hard for over a very very long time only to be fucked over at the end.

    Fuck you bureaucrats/ control freaks and the horses that bought you to town.

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  16. Alfred (52 comments) says:

    Councillor Bhatnagar, it seems the heavy hand of state intervention is still alive. yes alcohol is an issue but the council will come across as mean spirited and kill-joys. So much for creating an environment where people can visit their local, relax and drink their socialist worries away. Instead you’re about to kill the enterprising spirit that Kiwis are well know for. It’s a sad day in Auckland and even God is crying.

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  17. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    The policy seems to discriminate against Maori and the principles of Tireti ‘O Waitangi.

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  18. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    Adolf, I’ve been a non-drinker for a while now, and it doesn’t mean I don’t like going to gigs or hanging out with friends. There’s more to going out than getting retardedly drunk, and not all of us want to obliterate ourselves.

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  19. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    Private sector gerrymandering dressed up as safety control freakery. Auckland, your council sucks balls.

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  20. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    This is obviously part of Auckland’s new tourism campaign, whose slogan is: “Auckland… Just like Brisbane was in 1980.”

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  21. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    Terrible idea. Simply horrible.

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  22. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    what davidp said…

    I would imagine a more truthful version would be “Auckland.. More boring than Christchurch on a Sunday night” ;-)

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  23. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Probably doing the people a favor, the place is just one big rip off joint anyway. Went up there a few months ago, went to few pubs in the middle of Auckland, just drinking handles of beer. The average price must of been around ten dollars per handle, thieving townie bastards. For fucks sake you think we were drinking two hundred year old wine. They can stick their “international city” up their dates. How anyone lives in that overpriced cesspit is beyond me.

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  24. johnbt (90 comments) says:

    Bhatnagar with his ” stakeholders, incentivise, consultation ” and other crap appeared to be a right dickhead bureaucrat. Then I saw his title……. Chairman, City Development. What a joke. Hope he stays in Auckland. You poor bastards.

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  25. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    “Well FMD gently. Haven’t you idiots got something better to do than drink piss all night?”

    Haven’t you got something better to do than regulating it.

    I promote gigs at clubs. The gigs I promote go on way further than 3am, and finish closer to 6am. Our main acts are on from 2am-4am. I have only seen one incident at a gig, which involved a drunken punter acting like an idiot and he was dealt with swiftly by the bouncers.

    Punters who attend my gigs tend to pay anywhere up to $30-40 per person to attend, and causing trouble is the last thing on their minds. They are there to have a good time, listen to international musicians and DJs and have a few drinks with their mates.

    This council regulation puts this at risk. It adds extra costs to the bars, which will be passed on to the promoters and increase the risk of any event. Why should venues and promoters who have behaved responsibly be treated the same as those who have not. There is no need at our venues for additional security guards, stupid NZQA training for bar tenders, free food (there are takeaways nearby) or the stupid one way door policy.

    We haven’t done anything wrong, and don’t deserve to have extra compliance costs pushed onto us.

    Your problem isn’t night clubs, or entertainment venues – its the overflowing meat markets catering to the lowest common demoninator 18 year old in a popped collar polo shirt, the 17 year old shore girl in the waterfront bar on her sisters fake ID and the bunch of souf aucklanders in their bongo van and $20 warehouse school shoes looking to cause a fight.

    City councillers who haven’t actually bothered to experience Auckland’s night life won’t understand this however.. and will likely go on undeterred and push this stupid regulation onto the Auckland night scene. And it won’t save a single life, or stop a single fight – but will add significant compliance costs onto business. And then the councillers can tell mums and dads they’ve done something… for the sake of it that is.

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  26. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Auckland – City of Sales (thanks to the GFC)

    Auckland – City of Snails (thanks to the traffic)

    Auckland – City of few Ales (thanks to the early closing time)

    And why is Wellington so windy? Beacuse Auckland sucks so much (C’mon Aucklanders … hit me with that -ve karma)

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  27. Benster (1 comment) says:

    This proposal shows just how short sighted the Auckland city council has become. They seem intent on turning Auckland into one big grey power retirement home. A change in the laws would indicate some major problem in the present situation. Firstly I would like to see some evidence of that, because as someone who lives close to, and frequents many fine restaurants and bars that would be effected by this, I fail to see the problem. Most of these bars finish up by 11 week nights and not long after midnight weekends. Most also have to close up their outdoor areas around 10. If we are talking negative impacts to the surrounding areas, I have seldom seen any trouble in the smaller “locals” style establishment. Nor have I heard much in the way of excessive noise. It is painfully clear that this will effect the venues profitability and this effect jobs. Most of these bars are staffed by locals so this will have a direct effect on the employment in the local area. In addition these laws will require the bars to make excessive and for the most part unnecessary investments in order to meet the new bureaucratic standards, which many will find unfeasible.
    The worst problem I see has already been proven overseas and I witnessed it while living in Ireland. Early closing only results in more intoxicated people out in the streets at one time. By limiting the period that people can drink in, patrons don’t tend to drink less but rather tend to drink the same in a shorter period of time. Some of the grey power fans of Aaron Bhatnagar may like to tell him some stories of the 6 o’clock closing swilling sessions that went on in their heyday.
    The pattern of unrushed patrons, is to gradually leave venues – the bar crowd normally thins out over a period of time. By closing bars at 11pm the most likely outcome will become a drunken mob on the streets at one time. A classic example of the negative effect is how the most dangerous place to be in Dublin at closing time is the taxi stand. These law changes fly in the face of what is considered the current wisdom in most modern cosmopolitan cities in the world. I fear the Aussies will be able to spark up the old joke “Yeah, I visited Auckland but it was closed”.
    If patrons to want to have a few drinks after the new proscriptive timeframe they will be forced to head into the main entertainment centres. This will provide them with 3 options: 1) Go via public transport – not very practical, let’s face it. 2) Taxi, not very economical or 3) drive. Do we really need any more drink drivers on the road? When I go down to my local it’s so I can have a few quiet drinks with conversation in a not overly crowded bar and walk home.
    If you put emotion aside it is very clear that there is very little wisdom in bringing about these new laws and I suspect that it is more bureaucrats trying to lift their own level of importance heading towards the formation of the new super city council.
    Aaron stick to your day job – hold on it is your day job, maybe you should quit it and go back to living off your daddy’s allowance.

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  28. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    So, if you’re going to be open after 10pm, and apply for a special exemption to 12am (wow, how generous) you’ll have to have 1 security guard outside for every 50 people, according to Aaron. Imagine every restaurant and bar with 2-3 security guards outside. You’ll have to put on more than you need, because what if you’re serving 45 and a party of 12 show up?

    Idiotic law, in every respect.

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  29. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    Quite frankly, I want the freedom to go out and buy a drink at 4am in the morning anywhere I like, and I want bar owners to have the freedom to stay open and sell it to me. So the politicians and bureaucrats can get fucked.

    If you want to stop drunken criminals doing drunken criminal things, call the police, have them arrested, and leave me, the bar, and my glass of shiraz/martini/150proof absinthe alone.

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  30. Alistair Miller (499 comments) says:

    I’m a little late to this party, but what the hell, here are a few ideas:

    (1) If you don’t want to be kept awake by the noise, don’t buy a house near a pub/club/vineyard/other place where people have fun.
    (2) The current law is perfectly adequate, it just needs to be enforced. If a barwench serves grog to a drunken idiot (or his mate who’s buying for him), the bar’s licence can, and should, be suspended. Licence cancellation for repeat offenders.
    (3) If there are drunken idiots causing trouble in the streets (or anywhere else for that matter) they should be arrested (preferably with a swift kick in the arse), charged and fined.

    There is absolutely no need to further restrict the opening hours of bars and restaurants. A little personal responsibility please people. Most of us don’t need the government to wipe our backside when we’ve taken a dump, and we certainly don’t need the government telling us when it’s time to go home to bed.

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