Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Dr Eric Crampton: Opposing bars

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

Tom Hunt and Rachel Thomas at The Post have been checking into one bit of it.

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.

Dr Eric Crampton is Chief Economist at the New Zealand Initiative. This article was first published HERE


JohnS said...

A major purpose of town and city centres is for people to meet, congregate and enjoy themselves. This happens all over the mature world and bars and restaurants are where people do this. Except in Wellington, New Zealand where the Council, Police and Health Depts. conspire to turn their city centre into a lifeless crime ridden and dilapidated dump. It saddens me to read the names of eateries that have closed and the authorities responsible should be ashamed of themselves. The left leaning ideology that drives this regressive thinking is a major reason for what was an exciting place to visit as little as 10-15 years ago now in need of a major overhaul. I, for one wont return until that happens.

Anonymous said...

Maybe part of the problem is the drink until you are off your face culture in NZ ...