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Bars can stay open for all RWC games despite Green Party not backing law change

The Green Party has turned away from supporting a law change allowing pubs and clubs from remaining open for the entirety of Rugby World Cup matches, saying exemptions are already in place. 

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There are growing concerns that smaller establishments may have to close before some of the games finish. Source: 1 NEWS

ACT began pushing for change to the law earlier this month, with the proposal picked up by the Government. 

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There are growing concerns that smaller establishments may have to close before some of the games finish. Source: 1 NEWS

The Rugby World Cup 2019 Extended Trading Hours Amendment Bill passed tonight, supported by all of Parliament apart from the Green Party. The change would permit club licence and on-licence holders to extend their trading hours for the games, as the broadcast from Japan would see some games finishing later. 

MP Jan Logie said the Green Party were concerned with using Parliamentary time to make an exemption "to our standard processes of oversight of the sale of alcohol for a men's Rugby World Cup".

"We haven't done that for any other sport."

She said there were issues with pubs and clubs applying exemptions to the opening hours, however the problems were able to be worked around. 

"The argument that this is particularly relevant to clubs in their communities, that they need exemption... is that is only true if it is to subvert the normal process of being able to open and have alcohol.

"The view it's not possible to not open without alcohol is not accurate."

ACT's David Seymour said despite not drinking alcohol himself, he hoped the Parliament would remove the regulation.

"I think it's important that when this committee regulates, we have regard for the freedoms and the convenience and the enjoyment of life that our fellow citizens wish to enjoy.

"If that means that you can have a pint when you watch the games slightly outside the normal licensing hours, then I don't think that's too much to ask. 

Justice Minister Andrew Little called the Rugby World Cup "one of the largest and most exciting sporting events on the New Zealand calendar".

"Supporting the All Blacks is something that many people consider to be a critical part of being a New Zealander and I am pleased that this Bill will make it easier for us to come together and celebrate our national game."

Source: 1 NEWS