The Government’s Bill to amend the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to allow licensed premises to remain open for Rugby World Cup (RWC) matches is a step in the right direction, but the lack of detail is a concern, National’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“National raised these issues at Parliament’s Business committee a month ago and the Government is only just responding now. As a result there is now tight timeframes to consider this law, so it is important we see the detail as soon as possible.

“National is still worried about the approximately 40,000 households who may not have access to all the games due to no connections, substandard connections or affordability. Ensuring rural areas have adequate access to the games is crucial and we want to make sure the licensing rules are flexible enough to accommodate pubs and clubs in rural areas.

“We’ve worked alongside David Seymour and organisations who represent pubs and clubs such as Hospitality NZ and Clubs NZ on this issue. We believe that in the long run it’s important we have a better licensing regime for major sporting events that means Parliament doesn’t have to pass a rushed law every time.

“We hope to see the detail of proposed legislation as soon as possible so these issues can be worked through given the tight timeframes with a Select Committee considering these issues next week.”

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