The “spiteful” Green Party has blocked a bill that would allow pubs to open for Rugby World Cup matches.
A bill, introduced to Parliament by ACT Party leader David Seymour on Tuesday, sought to allow pubs to open outside of legal trading hours to show Rugby World Cup matches being played in the United Kingdom.
But the Greens objected, with co-leader James Shaw accusing Seymour of trying to boost his profile. Without the unanimous support of MPs, the bill cannot be rushed through in time for the tournament.
Seymour said the Greens were being “spiteful”.
“Certainly if it’s rejected today, I’ll be texting the PM to say he’s got my vote to put a bill through with the Government.
“I think it’s the right thing to do, it’s what most New Zealanders want and I’m opposed to the majority being punished due to actions of an irresponsible minority.”
The bill could now only proceed if it was picked up by the Government, something Prime Minister John Key has indicated is a possibility.
He said a decision would be made in the next day or two.
I hope they do.
Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague said the bill would see “boozed-up people spilling out of bars just as parents are dropping their children at school”.
Oh that’s just so silly. Apart from the fact you know bars don’t tend to be next door to schools, watching the rugby over a couple of pints is not really being boozed up. People who get up at 4 am to watch the rugby are doing it for the rugby, not the booze. Sure they may enjoy a drink or two during the game, but this is not like a nightclub closing at 8 am.
Labour MPs voted not to object to the bill when its caucus met on Tuesday and leader Andrew Little said he personally supported it.
“There’s hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who enjoy a tipple, usually when watching sporting games and they do so responsibly,” Little said.
“This is a tournament that happens once every four years and it’s totally in keeping with social intercourse that they have a drink.”
Little said if he was in a pub at 5am and the All Blacks were winning he wouldn’t say no to a drink.
“If we’re losing I’d probably have two beers at 5am.”
Well said Andrew Little.
Just heard on the radio that the Government is likely to introduce a Government bill. Labour will treat it as a conscience vote.