Monday 29 April 2024

Opposing bars

Health and police make a habit of trying to block licenses and license renewals for bars along Courtenay Place. 

Health NZ has been claiming that there are 'just under 200' licensed premises in the area so the region is dangerously overserved; they pull out the number when objecting to licenses. 

Two owners started asking questions about the number. 
When asked to supply a list of the 200 premises, a Te Whatu Ora spokesperson asked, “are you actually questioning that there aren’t 200 licensed premises in this region?”, before treating it as an Official Information Act request.

That eventual response showed there were just 142 premises within the radius – leaving 58 phantom licences. Te Whatu Ora has now released that list, which actually includes 87 premises.

They include Molly Malones, which closed in 2015, Strawberry Fare, closed since 2016, and Reading Cinemas, closed since 2019.

At least three bars on the list were owned by publican Jordan Mills and his family: Siglo shut this year, Hummingbird closed in 2021 and Public Bar and Eatery shut in 2017. In each case Te Whatu Ora or its predecessor cited the 200 figure in evidence before the district licensing committee, he said.

Standard public health playbook really.  

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