Little backs Seymour’s RWC bar bill

The Herald reports:

Act Party leader is hopeful his proposal to allow pubs to open in the early hours during the will be adopted, though he says it might only be applied to games involving the All Blacks.

The MP for Epsom will table a hastily-drafted bill in Parliament this afternoon which would allow all pubs and bars to remain open during anti-social hours if they were broadcasting live from the tournament in Britain.

The bill will be shot down if any MP refuses to grant leave.

Generally leave will be refused to stop bills jumping the queue. But as this is to fix a problem that is going to occur in the next couple of months, it is appropriate to grant leave in my opinion.

Mr Seymour was confident it would progress, but he said getting cross-party support might require some concessions. He said National had been supportive of the proposal, but had asked whether the scope could be reduced so that it covered only New Zealand games.

Justice Minister Amy Adams would not comment yesterday, except to say the National caucus would consider the law change this morning.

United Future leader Peter Dunne also has some concerns about the scope of the bill.

Mr Seymour said he might agree to limit the policy, but he hoped it could be applied to all fans. “There’s a quarter of a million British-born New Zealanders, 50,000 Australians, and big South African, Tongan and Samoan populations. So wouldn’t it be nice to have all teams rather than just the one?”

Labour, New Zealand First and the Maori Party would also decide their positions this morning.

Labour leader Andrew Little supported the law change. “It’s a Rugby World Cup, it only comes around every four years … so the opportunity to meet in a bar and watch a game and have the odd pint is the perfectly normal thing to want to do. Personally, I think we should try to facilitate it.”

Good to see Little supportive.

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