'Some logic' in bars opening for Rugby World Cup - Key

The majority of the games will be played in the morning, NZ time (Photosport)
The majority of the games will be played in the morning, NZ time (Photosport)

John Key says National could support ACT's Bill which would see pubs and bars able to open during the Rugby World Cup later this year.

ACT's leader and sole MP David Seymour is set to table a Bill in Parliament today which would give pubs an exemption from being closed between 4am and 8am, when they are normally forbidden to be open by law.

Mr Seymour says 25 of the 48 games at the tournament, held in the UK, will be played between 4am and 8am NZ time.

The Bill would allow licenced premises, including clubs, to remain open during those hours if their primary purpose is for watching the rugby and either have been closed for two hours already that day or kick-off is during their normal hours.

The Prime Minister this morning said whether the party supports the Bill would be a decision which would be made by caucus today.

It was possible for bars to individually apply to stay open to show the games, but Mr Key said there are "challenges" and it isn't a straightforward process for them.

He saw 'some logic' in the Bill.

"I can understand why there would be a group of people who don't have access to games who don't have Sky at home or actually just want to be with other people and we saw that at the fan zones at the Rugby World Cup last time," he said.

He believed his caucus would have mixed views on the issue, ranging from wanting individual bars to apply to be open to those supporting Mr Seymour's Bill in full.

Mr Seymour tabling the Bill means it won't go ahead if anyone objects to it.

Mr Key says if that were the case, a Government-led Bill would be a "possibility", but wouldn't be as "wide-ranging" as Mr Seymour's.

Labour leader Andrew Little says he personally supports the Bill, but whether his caucus does is a matter for them because alcohol regulation is a conscience issue for MPs.

"Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders enjoy a tipple, usually when they're watching sporting games and they do so responsibly. This is a tournament which happens once every four years, and I think it's entirely keeping with the social intercourse New Zealanders enjoy that they can have a drink in a licensed premises."

Asked whether he'd want a beer at 5am, Mr Little said if the All Blacks were winning he "probably wouldn't say no".

"But if we're losing I'd probably have two beers."

Mr Seymour had raised the issue with Mr Little, who said he would take it to his caucus to discuss it.

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