You may remember signing a petition a few months ago to help La Bella Italia restaurant in Petone, which has been negatively affected by the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act
Put simply, La Bella has been negatively impacted by the ‘shop within a shop’ section of the Act, which stops off-licences being inside restaurants and other shops. This has led to the absurd situation of La Bella having to jump through all sorts of hoops to be able to simply sell a bottle of wine that someone may have tried with their meal in the restaurant!
There is an easy fix for this and I have drafted a member’s bill to help. My Bill allow premises which contain both a shop and a restaurant to hold an on-licence for the restaurant part of the premises, and an off-licence for the shop part of the premises.
The petition in support of my Bill has been under consideration by the Justice Committee for the past year and it has just reported back.
I’m really pleased that the committee has found that it is unlikely that Parliament intended the restrictions in the Act to apply to La Bella’s situation, and that the Act needs amendment to make clear how premises with both a shop and a restaurant should be licensed.
The committee has also found that my member’s bill would help to provide this clarification.
National members of the committee pushed for the Government to adopt my Member’s Bill as a Government Bill, which would mean it could pass quite quickly. Unfortunately, Labour members did not agree.
Labour instead thinks the Government should consider the matter as part of its next regular review of liquor licensing law (for which there is no date).
I will keep working to convince the government to fix what was clearly an unintended consequence of the 2014 liquor changes.
Thank you for your support – this isn’t over!