World Cup Alcohol Bill Completes Second Reading

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — 5:55 PM

A bill loosening alcohol licensing rules for the Rugby World Cup has completed its second reading and is set to pass into law this evening.

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its second reading by 101 to 20 with National 59 in favour, Labour 24 in favour 4 opposed, Green Party 14 opposed, NZ First 12 votes in favour, Maori Party 2, ACT 1, UF 1 all in favour, four labour MPs cast their votes as “others” with 2 in favour and 2 opposed.

The bill was introduced by leave with a curtailed select committee process with leave also received for the bill to be reported back today and given its second and third readings. The bill will allow licensed premises to open for the screening of Rugby World Cup games in the early hours of the morning without gaining a special license.

The Bill’s sponsor David Seymour said the bill would allow communities to use some of their prized facilities for the largest annual four year festival for New Zealand – the Rugby World Cup.

He described the bill as a push back against “busy bodies” and the nanny state.

Green MP Kevin Hague said his party would be opposing the bill. He quoted the Law Commission about the harm done by alcohol and its excessive consumption. Hague said increasing availability increased harm and the last alcohol law passed by Parliament decided bars should close in the early hours of the morning with special licenses required for this period.

The bill was rushed, undemocratic and undermined the objectives of the principle Act.

Green MP Jan Logie said Parliament should have allowed bars to open but not let them sell alcohol during the rugby games saying while rugby was a religion in New Zealand every service did not have to hold communion.

Maori Party MP Marama Fox said Parliament was giving too much carte blanche to license holders and some restrictions should be put in place.

MPs began the third reading immediately after the second reading vote.

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