Law proposed to allow bars to stay open for Rugby World Cup 2019 matches

The Justice Minister has proposed a new law that would allow licensed premises to stay open longer for Rugby World Cup matches. 

"This will allow eligible licensed premises to open during the 2019 Rugby World Cup for the purpose of televising live games that fall outside of their usual trading hours," Andrew Little said. 

He said some clubs have been facing difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for the events. 

"It makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire."

Little said while the timing of matches in Japan wouldn't affect some licensed premises, there are some clubs in rural areas that tend to have earlier closing times. 

"We want to make sure that these communities have the opportunity to enjoy the games," Little said. 

He thanked ACT leader David Seymour who he said drafted the Bill, which proposes amending the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act. 

"This is a win for common sense and for rugby fans up and down New Zealand," Seymour said in a statement. 

"It made absolutely no sense that thousands of bars and clubs were having to apply for special licences to open for a few extra hours only to be turned down. 

"We know from 2015 that people watching the rugby at their local are not troublemakers, so there was no reason to oppose my Bill."

He thanked the Government parties and National for backing it. 

"The Government's support will mean Parliament can now pass this legislation quickly.

"Fans will be able get to their local, watch all of RWC 2019 live, and hopefully see the All Blacks retain the title of World Champions."

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be the ninth, and is to be held in Japan from September 20 to November 2. 


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