New BYO bill will bolster racing

A bill drawn from the member’s ballot today would encourage more people to enjoy and participate in New Zealand’s racing scene, National’s Racing spokesperson Ian McKelvie says.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Exemption for Race Meetings) Bill would allow racegoers to bring and consume their own alcohol when a racing club holds an appropriate liquor licence.

Typically, racing clubs may obtain a special licence (or may already hold an on-licence) for a designated area, and allow the rest of the course to be available for BYO alcohol consumption.

This bill protects and clarifies that ability and allows the status quo to continue, by explicitly exempting race courses and race meetings from the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

“My bill makes it clear that racing clubs and race meetings are not the intended target of section 235 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act,” Mr McKelvie says.

“A glass of wine or a beer in the sun with some chips and dip is a Kiwi tradition. Some race meets have allowed BYO for more than 135 years. The law should target the real harms and problem areas caused by alcohol, rather than family-friendly events.

“New Zealand’s racing industry is world-class, and we have some of the best trainers and jockeys in Australasia.

“This bill would encourage more families and communities to carry on the tradition of a chilli bin and a hamper at the races.

“It would increase attendance on race days, making the industry more attractive and successful, and will be welcomed by racing clubs across the country.

“I look forward to receiving cross-party support for this common sense change, so racing clubs can continue to thrive and keep providing the entertainment Kiwis have known and loved for many decades.”