Fears that opening bars to allow people to watch rugby World Cup games would lead to major problems have not been realised:
Allowing bars to open during Rugby World Cup games didn’t turn the country into the drunken shambles that had been predicted, say the backers of the law change that made it possible.
Police communication centres today said the local aftermath of the All Blacks win over Australia in the Rugby World Cup final in London was quiet.
A law change was made two months ago to allow bars to open early during the tournament, rather than having to apply for special licences. Under the changes, hoteliers had to give police seven days’ notice they would be open.
The change was enabled by a bill from ACT’s sole MP David Seymour, who watched the final at a bar in Auckland’s Mt Eden.
He was happy there had been no major problems and it showed New Zealanders were actually responsible people.
“The picture that was painted when the bill was debated was that New Zealanders are infantile and if there’s not a law made to prevent it happening there would just be drunk people pouring out into the street and harassing children,” he said. . .
While longer opening hours of bars and other licensed premises provides a greater opportunity for drinking, it’s not when people drink but how and how much that is the problem.
There is a problem with immature and unhealthy attitudes to alcohol which lead people to drink too much, but that is not a problem for most of us.
Legislation should be aimed at anti-social and abusive behaviour and allow the majority who drink without causing themselves or anyone else problems to do so when they want to.