WARNING: Random Rant Ahead.
WOW! I just can’t keep up with the walls closing in on alcohol in New Zealand. On every front alcohol is being attacked. Just small little bites, which by themselves the public seem to be accepting or totally unaware of. If you look at the big picture though things are changing fast, and how long before those in control achieve prohibition in New Zealand.
Prohibition 1920’s read this link.
Prohibition 2020’s the story starts here.
What’s happening out there that you should probably be thinking about:
- Single Bottle Ban – no more single bottle sales (aimed at Craft Beer?) BOOO!
- Police patrolling in pubs, potentially with video cameras
- Seven’s and potentially other public events with alcohol bans
- No more beer festivals?
- Increased cost for a license
- Increasing health warnings on labels
Tonight I was given the heads up about the “single bottle ban” which is part of the the impending Auckland Local Alcohol Policy Not sure whats in it but the preferred position paper gives you a rough idea.
Thursday 24th April – I had lunch at Vultures, everyone in the place was having lunch. Two police offices walked in, eye balled everyone, one looked at the license on the wall as the other one walked through including downstairs. They then slowly walked outside the door, and spent some time out there. Jarred went out and had a discussion with them. (I should follow-up to see what it was all about) It was done in a slightly intimidating way, for those in the bar.
That evening we had the Fresh Hop beer release event at the Lumsden. Late in the evening two police offices walked in, eye balled every one and looked at the license on the wall and then hung out in the garden bar for a while. Then walked back through the bar. Then they stood outside the door on Khyber Pass, until the manager went out. Again I don’t have the full story and should follow-up. Exactly the same as Vultures on the same day. Was this specifically aimed at Craft Beer Bars?
This is the first time I have ever experienced police walking through a bar in Auckland. And what was it about that day that I experienced it twice.
I understand that police are now allowed to video tap people that they think are intoxicated?
Seven’s liquor ban. I have a whole blog post drafted on this with statistics. Bottom line, this event brings in $18 million to the local Wellington economy, alcohol sales are down 50% over the last 5 years at the stadium. Everyone has a good time. There is a very small percentage of arrests and injuries, which must happen on an average Friday and Saturday night. Will an alcohol ban at the stadium reduce the harm from alcohol in the city to zero? What is the cost of this to the economy? Is it worth it?
Should alcohol be banned at major sporting events?
Should the police/liquor licensing be allowed to video tap at these public events to record all serving areas and people purchasing alcohol? Are there signs displayed any where notifying the public they are being filmed? What is happening to this footage? Being stored? For how long?
As for alcohol advertising at sporting events check out this post – Let’s make everything like the Rugby Sevens?
Beer Festivals – what are the chances the New Zealand Beer Festival will ever happen again? Seemed like it was luck to even happen this year, and wasn’t much fun with the security and policing. Why was this Auckland Beer Festival under the gun and the Christchurch Beer Festival was such a breeze? One law, multiple interpretations, and levels of enforcement.
Increased costs of holding a license to sell alcohol. Read this article New fees a big cost for some premises
Liquor Licensing Committee chair John Leggett said the new fee system was a result of the passing of the new acts, which was aimed at reducing harm from alcohol.
“As I understand it, one of the driving forces behind the change is the reference to the on and off-licences themselves . . . making sure the industry paid for the cost rather than the ratepayers.”
“As I understand it” doesn’t really sound like he fully understands what he is talking about.
How much were the ratepayers paying before for the cost of a liquor license?
How did they come up with how much each risk category pays?
For a large event with more than 400 people it would now cost $575, a medium event with between 100 and 400 people would cost $207 and a small event with less than 100 people would cost $63.25.
Who came up with these fees for events that need a special license?
Seems like revenue gathering , and the numbers just seem random, and it isn’t clear that they are tied to any costs that ratepayers had previously been covering. Read the article and try to come up with your own conclusion.
New Labelling – changes to our labels. Warnings are now going to be required on beer labels. At the cost to the brewer. The sucky thing is that small brewers have so many different beers and small label runs, and will have a bigger burden to get changes made. Extra cost to make sure pregnant women know they shouldn’t be drinking craft beer.
Did you know there are 1000 liquor ban areas in Auckland?
My vision of the future for Alcohol in New Zealand 2020
- Every purchase of alcohol you make will be on video. The supermarket, bottle shops, sporting events, bars, restaurants and beer festivals. (actually it already is recorded, on video and on EFTPOS and credit card transactions)
Facial Recognition – each purchase will be recorded, the video will have facial recognition software run over it. A database of where you purchased and your financial transaction cross referenced.
Standard Drinks. Based on your purchases there will be a record of how many standard drinks you purchase in a week. You will be flagged and categorised in to risk groups. If you are purchasing (therefore drinking) more than recommended guidelines then there will be ramifications. Potentially your insurance company could be informed and your premiums go up, your doctor notified and on your next visit you could be talked to about your potential problem. Or even your employer or spouse?
How far could this all go before they just implement prohibition without anyone pushing back and saying hey that’s not cool. The above technology is available now, and this could already be happening.
Chipping away slowly slowly…
Please tell me I am wrong.
UPDATE – 8 May 14
> Looks like the Council have defined it better – so might not be an issue for ‘craft’ after all (or should that be ’boutique’ and ‘handcrafted’)
> ‘Mainstream’ beer isn’t generally sold in single bottles anyway, so shouldn’t be affected.
> Still issues around profiling based on product type rather than the behaviour they are trying to address. Plus puts all the onus on the retailer not the person buying the product…
UPDATE – 10 May 14
I might have been a bit optimistic on the 2020 date, especially after reading