A long-forgotten bill that lets anyone object to liquor stores being built in their neighbourhood will make a timely return to parliament this week.Does anyone really think this will reduce the amount of alcohol consumed? If people want to buy alcohol they will just have to drive a little bit further to do it, that's all. That is unlikely to stop them drinking.
What it will do is make the existing liquor stores very, very happy as they now have a great way to reduce competition. Less competition just means more profits for the stores lucky enough to be in place now. The big liquor chains, like Liquorland and Liquor King, must love this bill. They have stores in place already in the areas they want them, and now they could have a huge barrier to entry for anyone want to challenge their dominance of the market. All they have to do is object themselves, or pay (under the table) someone else to do it for them and at the very least they can slow down the approval of the granting of a new licence for a competitor. With luck they could stop it altogether. I wonder what the Commerce Commission will have to say about this. This has to be one of the most anti-competitive ideas put forward in years.
The Stuff article also says,
It was supported on a conscience vote by every National Party member at its first reading - only Act Party MPs Rodney Hide and Heather Roy voted against it.Well done Rodney and Heather.