A 1% reduction

July 29th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

A policy limiting bars’ opening hours would reduce the amount of Christchurch people drink by as little as 1 per cent, according to a city council report.

The draft Local Alcohol Policy would also cost the region more to implement than it would save in alcohol-related healthcare and police services. It could also deter bars and licensed premises from rebuilding in the central city.

Those are among the findings of a report commissioned by the that compares the costs and benefits of the draft policy.

The district-wide policy proposes a one-way door rule from 1am in the central city and a blanket 1am closing for suburban licensed premises in a bid to help curb the city’s alcohol-related issues.

The hearing of submissions on the policy begins today and is expected to last four days.

The report concluded the economic costs of the policy would outweigh the economic benefits.

In other words, the policy will achieve almost nothing, but impose costs on businesses and remove choice for residents.

It is good the Council agreed to do an economic analysis of their proposed policy. Hopefully they will listen to their own report, and not give into the wowsers.

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14 Responses to “A 1% reduction”

  1. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    To add some balence, the news story you quoted from also had this …..

    Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey dismissed the report, saying it did not appear to be “logical or scientific”.

    “The study only looks at credit-card transactions, not cash transactions or supermarket sales,” he said.

    “It is a flawed report in the way it has been undertaken and so it has produced flawed results.”

    Humphrey did not accept the policy would only reduce alcohol consumption by 1 per cent.

    “If this was a real result, wouldn’t bars be clapping their hands and saying, ‘great, we’re only going to lose 1 per cent of business’? It’s a very illogical finding.”

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  2. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Alistair Humphrey is the illogical one. Every study has limits. To dismiss it because it doesn’t include supermarket sales (what has that got to do with bar opening hours?) etc simply highlights his bias.

    And because he says bar owners should be “clapping their hands” in happiness at the thought of losing 1 per cent of business (which I doubt is the only concern anyway), I propose we immediately reduce Alistair Humphrey’s salary by 1% so he too can experience the great pleasure that he wants to inflict on others.

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  3. marcw (247 comments) says:

    More would be achieved by concentrating on the offenders – say bringing back the “drunk and disorderly in public offence”, and having police with video cameras on their patrol so the evidence is graphic and can’t be denied in the light of day and once lawyered up. Police in Wellington say they would be rushed off their feet if they were asked to enforce this law, but it would only take a few months of intensive action I think ’til the problems we have now would mostly disappear when the morons got the message.

    We spend an extraordinary amount of time restricting the rights of non-offenders just to protect the rights of idiots to be, well, … idiots.

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  4. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    @marcw + one

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  5. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    C’mon, DPF. You are statistician and know how flaky this study is.

    Logically also, a change could still be useful if it reduced only 1 per cent of total consumption but reduced, say 40 per cent of consumption among those for whom alcohol causes behaviour problems, such as teenagers.

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  6. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “If this was a real result, wouldn’t bars be clapping their hands and saying, ‘great, we’re only going to lose 1 per cent of business’? It’s a very illogical finding.”

    lmao yeah i know thats what i do whenever fresh costs and decreased sales are forced on my business.

    I clap and i clap. its just wonderful news

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  7. PaulP (150 comments) says:

    The 1% reduction they are talking about seems to be in total alcohol consumed. This presumably is because the amount of alcohol consumed by patrons at these premises (licenced premises in the Chch CBD) between 1am and the current closing time is very, very small when compared to alcohol consumed earlier in the evening and also as a result of purchases elsewhere (off licence, restaurants, at home etc).

    Seems logical to me that the TOTAL amount consumed across Chch would fall insignificantly given we are talking about a small number of premises in a small location serving alcohol over a small period of time.

    Including supermarket sales would mean the percentage of consumption reduced would be even less than the 1% not more!

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  8. wally (65 comments) says:

    Humphrey has similar traits to Sellman.

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  9. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    say bringing back the “drunk and disorderly in public offence”, and having police with video cameras on their patrol so the evidence is graphic and can’t be denied in the light of day and once lawyered up.

    Actually, Disorderly Behaviour (s3 of the Summary Offences Act) or Offensive Behaviour (s4 of the same Act) are used regularly by Police to prosecute people who are drunk in public and causing a problem.  You won’t get legal aid to defend either charge, so it almost always results in a guilty plea, either in person or through a duty solicitor.  

    Those defendants who can actually remember what they did are usually too embarrassed to make a fuss about defending the charge!

    EDIT: More on topic, I have always thought that the problem is that the bars are serving obviously intoxicated people, usually with impunity. Any suggestion or thoughts on that, people?

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  10. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    FES,
    When I did duty solicitor work many moons ago most punters who had been charged with disorderly wanted the prosecution to go away quietly.
    Can’t answer you second point as I very rarely venture out into the wilds anymore.

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  11. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    alex,

    most punters who had been charged with disorderly wanted the prosecution to go away quietly.

    exactly my experience.

    I very rarely venture out into the wilds anymore.

    Me neither, hence my question.  But considering the amount of alcohol some of these guys have ingested, there must be a lot of bars serving obviously intoxicated punters.  I could be wrong on that (and I know that the bar owners get all moral about it and point to the fines applicable etc) but something just doesn’t add up about it.  Even if the punters pre-load prior to going out, many are obviously intoxicated but are still getting served.  

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  12. Mike Readman (363 comments) says:

    I’m taking this article with me to quote from when I speak against this silly policy at the hearings in about an hour.

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  13. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    A policy limiting bars’ opening hours would reduce the amount of alcohol Christchurch people drink by as little as 1 per cent, according to a city council report.
    …..
    what is the margin of error?

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  14. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    FES and Alex M why prosecute the poor bloody barman /licencee, the dopy bastards who get shitfaced, drink fast and big and may well still present as almost ok when they buy their last drink.
    The simple truth is that the servers of the alcohol are;
    1 identifiable,
    2 have assets and or income at risk,
    3 are just too easy to hook.
    Christ on a bike they can take down a few facts of required evidence and do all the paper work tomorrow when it is safe,

    The pissed may be spewing so who wants to put that in their car, agressive backup needed, will take valuable time to process and will in all liklyhood walk for any of many reasons.
    Why would any cop want all that grief when the soft option you are supporting is available.

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