New Toolkit Helps Public Have Their Say on Community Alcohol Licensing

9 July 2015

A toolkit enabling the public to submit objections to alcohol licence applications has been created by the Taranaki Alcohol Harm Reduction (TAHR) group. This is the only resource of its kind in the country.

“The sale of alcohol can have a wide range of effects on many different groups in a community, a lot of them being negative” said Taranaki DHB Health Promotor Jill Nicholls. “A lot of people are completely unaware that they can oppose an application for an alcohol licence, let alone how they would go about doing so in the correct manner and timeframe,” she added.

The ability for the public to have their say is a result of the ‘Sale of Alcohol Act’ which came into legislation in December 2012. The act gives people more input in alcohol licensing decisions in their community; however the TAHR does not consider the legislation community-friendly.

“The toolkit is a very simple, easy to follow guide designed to empower concerned members of the public to have their say within the required time frame, about alcohol licence applications in their communities” said Mrs Nicholls.

For example, anyone applying for an alcohol license must notify the public of their application by placing a public notice in the daily local newspaper at least twice. The toolkit gives readers examples of what these notices will look like.

Objections from the public to these applications must be written in a specific manner and delivered to the District Licensing Committee within just 15 working days after the first notice is published in the local newspaper. The toolkit also provides tips about how best to do this.
Mrs Nicholls said, “The toolkit is available to all members of the public; however anyone making a submission must be able to demonstrate a ‘greater interest’ in the alcohol license application than the general public. TAHR group is now marketing the toolkit to District Councils and community groups around the country so that communities outside of Taranaki know it’s available too.”

Some examples of people or groups with a ‘greater interest’ an alcohol license application include someone who lives ‘within close proximity’ to the proposed or existing premises; marae, youth or education facilities located nearby; or a person or group that works in the area of alcohol-related harm in the community (e.g. Salvation Army or a nurse working in the local Emergency Department).

TAHR is a collaborative group of agencies and includes, The Taranaki District Health Board Public Health Unit, ACC, New Plymouth Injury Safe, the Health Promotion Agency, YMCA Taranaki and concerned Taranaki citizens.

 ENDS

For more information please call
Greer Lean
Communications Advisor
027 801 9084

 

Last updated: Thursday, September 10, 2015

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