RWC Bill “Promotes Binge Drinking”


A Maori Party MP told parliament today he’s worried that the RugbyWorld Cup legislation going through the house does nothing about “our alcohol binge-drinking culture.”

“In fact, it seems to me that it is encouraging tourists - those who are coming in to enjoy the Rugby World Cup to buy into our binge-drinking culture,” said Rahui Katene, MP for Te Tai Tonga.

” I think that this is something that we should not be exporting to the rest of the world. We should be looking at other things.

“The message from Rugby World Cup advocates is that the provisions in the bill are simply about providing hospitality for the tens of thousands of visitors who arrive. I’m not sure how hospitable it is to have drunk people everywhere because that is what they seem to be saying.”

He said the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Bill suggested that this was a piece of legislation which is about empowering rugby, rugby players, rugby fans, rugby spectators, rugby historians, and the like.

“Instead, one might be forgiven for thinking that empowering liquor alcohol outlets and gambling venues is the dominant feature of the bill.

“The Government administration committee made a determination around the hours for gambling; inserting a new clause which ensures that the operating hours for pokie machines are determined by the Sale of Liquor Act rather than the Rugby World Cup license.

Eden Park open day

He said the bill provides more power for the Rugby World Cup Authority.

“We cannot ignore the wise advice of the law commission to the select committee, that placing liquor licensing decision-making in the hands of a body that does not have ongoing experience in these types of decisions may not be conducive to expeditious decision-making.”

He says an even more graphic illustration of these concerns was provided to the committee by Dr Tony Farrell from Mount (Maunganui) Medical Centre who spoke about the effects of alcohol harm). He told the committee that the only people benefiting from the bill will be the vendors of alcohol, and the companies who make and supply alcohol.

“I firmly oppose any aspect of this legislation that increases availability of alcohol without due control so the police should have significant discretionary powers to revoke and to suspend the sale of alcohol should problems arise”.

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  5. Bill Leaves Bitter Taste




  1. Cam says:

    “In fact, it seems to me that it is encouraging tourists – those who are coming in to enjoy the Rugby World Cup to buy into our binge-drinking culture,” Oh yeah because those Poms and Aussies don’t binge drink at home eh? Seriously who is this guy? He seems to think this is something unique to NZ.

  2. Mark Donnelly says:

    As with a lot of RWC issues, these knee jerk actions are not well thought through.

    And yes they seemed to be focused on some sort of binge drinking culture. I suspect because that how the McCully’s of this world see rugby etc. In fact a RWC visitor is a wealthy traveller - probably older, and maybe with their partner with them. They are paying substantial sums to get here, and for tickets etc - in my view they are the type of patrons who expect sophisticated options - not booze barn party centrals.

    And that shoudl be the marketing image we should want them to leave with - ie fine dining around teh various suburbs of Auckland.

    So while other countries may also have binge drinking problems, they won’t be a major component of tourists coming to RWC.

    I covered some of these issues in a herald article on the sheds

  3. karl says:

    I strongly dislike the idea of giving special powers to unelected bodies anyway. It’s a cop-out and a sop to commercial interests. If it gave me any greater confidence that it would make us get back the substantial loans we have given to the rugby organising committee, I would maybe see some benefit for the public, but it certainly doesn’t even seem to rise to that litmus test.


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