“There's a sense of déjà vu with the Rugby World Cup schedule rubbing up against bar licensing hours, and clubs applying for special licenses being knocked back by prudish licensing committees”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.
“I have had publicans and club owners approach me and ask: Why are they being knocked back for special licenses, and will Parliament come to their aid again?
“I didn’t enter politics to be the guy who lets people watch rugby at their local every four years. But, if absolutely necessary, I will challenge Parliament to change the law so common sense can prevail.
“Parliament would need to repeat 2015’s truncated process to pass the legislation in the two weeks available this month so the new law would be in place in time for kick off on 20 September. It could start when it sits on 20 August and conclude when it rises for another recess on 29 August.
“At first blush, the time difference doesn’t appear to be problematic. Even after New Zealand moves to daylight saving half way through the tournament, games will be starting at 10 or 11pm New Zealand time. This means pubs may be doing last call or ushering us out the door as the final whistle approaches.
“However, some establishments are only licensed to 11pm or midnight, especially with some games being scheduled on a Sunday. It seems wrong that they should have to apply for a special license and be knocked back when we know from 2015 that people watching the rugby at their local are not troublemakers.
“I hope that the Government will move on this and I am happy to give them some advice on how do to it”, says Mr Seymour.