16 November 2021
Hon Kris Faafoi
Minister of Justice
Kei te rangatira, tēnā koe
Alcohol Licensing Extension – outdoor dining
In late September I wrote to Rajesh Chhana, Deputy Secretary, Policy at the Ministry of Justice, to enquire about the possibility of an extension to alcohol licensing for outdoor dining across Auckland at Alert Level 2. This was proposed as a way to provide restaurateurs the ability to trade that is viable and operationally practical, while helping to stimulate the economy.
While we now have the new staged Alert Level process for Auckland and the impending traffic light system, we would still like the Government to consider a temporary legislative amendment to allow outdoor dining extension to cover the extension of alcohol licences. This approach has been adopted in a number of comparative jurisdictions, and proven highly successful. For example, England took steps to extend outdoor alcohol licences in March, encouraging hospitality operations to adopt pavement dining.1 Other jurisdictions, such as Canada and Australia, are also enacting similar measures and we believe it would go some way to support the recovery of New Zealand’s hospitality sector.
Over the past several weeks, Rajesh and his team have been working with us on these settings, to see what – if anything – could be done. I have valued the transparent engagement and communication from Rajesh and his team.
I understand officials have sent through a briefing for the consideration of Ministers. This matter is becoming more pressing as we move closer to transitioning to the new protection framework, so if there is any further information required by you or your colleagues, please do not hesitate to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Ngā mihi nui,
Tāhūhū Rangapū (Chief Executive)
Restaurant Association of New Zealand
1 Source: “UK Hospitality reacts to Government decision to extend pavement licence”
2 Source: “B.C. offers to make temporary patio licences permanent”; Source: “Embrace our summer of freedom’: Al fresco future to revive Sydney”