New Queenstown booze crew off to a fizzer

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Queenstown’s new liquor licensing committee has spluttered into life with a series of adjournments and no-shows.

The four-member district panel – which will gauge the suitability of bar managers and premises – sat for the first time on Monday.

It must determine whether licences are likely to increase booze-related harm or negatively impact the community – under new booze laws which came into force in December.

But the majority of cases on Monday were no-shows.

Of five applications for bar manager’s certificates, one applicant attended.

Wanaka bar worker Samantha Joane McAlpine’s application was adjourned for a six-month probationary period.

Police had opposed it after removing drunken patrons from a bar where she was temporary duty manager in November – though her owner blamed the situation on a doorman, who’d since been sacked.

Chairman Bill Unwin, flanked by committee members John Mann and Malika Rose, also adjourned an application for the renewal of an on-licence for Frankton Arm Tavern.

Tavern operator Free and Crazy Company Ltd wants to extend its outside drinking hours by two hours a night and one on Sundays but residents object.

Unwin says: “The applicant is not prepared as they have not provided a typed brief of their evidence. The objector hasn’t either. They’re both unprepared. So we’ll adjourn for three weeks and conduct a site visit.”

Queenstown’s council confirmed applicants and objectors are not required to provide typed briefs under the Act.
The committee reserved judgment on an application from firm JJ’s Resource Ltd for a liquor licence for its Arrowtown pizzeria Off-Piste Pizza.

Police opposed the application as business co-owner Jordan John Carroll-Sheehy, 24, has previous drug and alcohol convictions.

Unwin said the firm could expect a decision within 14 days.

Kate McKenzie-Smith, Peter Pittson, Lisa Susan Nash and Mark Andrew Hall failed to attend and their applications for manager certificates were refused.

Last year, 17 Queenstown duty managers were suspended in a blitz by the separate Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.