Bar reopening to be decided at month’s end

Wednesday May 06, 2020 Written by Published in Local
Rehab staff Wiki Kimiangatau and Arthur Putere take a short break while refurbishing Rehab nightclub. 20050508. 20050509. Rehab staff Wiki Kimiangatau and Arthur Putere take a short break while refurbishing Rehab nightclub. 20050508. 20050509.

Clubs and bars will remain closed for at least another month.

The Liquor Licensing Authority will visit each premises to do a thorough inspection before they meet again to make a decision about licenses at the end of May.

New rules and conditions include social distancing measures and each premises being required to provide floor plans to be submitted to the authority for consideration.

The floor sketch will determine the maximum number of customers including staff, to be allowed in each of the premises.


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Ministry of Transport secretary John Hosking, who oversees the liquor licensing agency, said there is much information to be shared, and that requires cooperation from both parties.

The Authority are communicating individually with each bar and club licensee on the additional specifications that are now required.

Rehab nightclub owner Scott Arlander and his staff are working hard refurbishing the premises to not only keep themselves employed, but also to welcome people back when the time comes.

Rohan Ellis, the owner of the Hula and Luna Bar, said clear guidelines are central to implement the new provisions.

“The rules must be very clear, and who will police the new rules. The new requirements will place additional stress on police,” he said.

“Dancing, karaoke will be a problem with social distancing.”

Ellis recognises the changing environment, and said as long as the new rules are sensible, business operators or pubs will most likely accept the new conditions.

“Let’s be reasonable, if there are too many conditions, it won’t be worth it, and the industry will have to release all their staff,” he said.

“If this happens, employees will have to stay home and become social problems, with increased stress and everything else, and migration of our people overseas. We will be back at 1995. There is a lot at stake, it’s how we manage this process, it’ll make or break us, as a people.

“It is what it is, let’s make the best out of a bad situation.”

Ellis understands the Authority are attempting to come up with reasonable rules, and are looking at what measures the industry will be happy with, going forward.

The Liquor Licensing Authority, Police, Te Marae Ora and Rescue Fire will visit each premises and come to an agreement on the information supplied to determine the maximum numbers of patrons, including staff that will be allowed at any one time.

On April 27 government lifted the ban on large group gatherings and eased the sale of alcohol restrictions.

However, the condition of retail licenses determined that no sale of alcohol will be permitted after 6pm.

The Authority upholds its goal to reduce alcohol abuse to the extent it can through its licensing process and alongside the amended retail hours in an effort to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol in the country.

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