New Zealand to extend alcohol licensing hours for Rugby World Cup 2019

A bill allowing licensed premises to remain open for Rugby World Cup matches has been passed with the agreement of the parliament, New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little announced on Wednesday.

As the games will be played in Japan, time zone differences will mean some games will be broadcast in New Zealand outside the permitted trading hours for some premises, such as rural clubs. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Rugby World Cup 2019 Extended Trading Hours) Amendment Bill 2019 will permit club licence and on-licence holders to extend their trading hours for this special event, subject to the same conditions as the 2015 bill.

“For an event as important as the Rugby World Cup, we need to ensure that licensed premises can facilitate the coming together of our communities to watch and celebrate the games live,” said the minister.

“The amendments in the Bill are similar to those that were made in 2015 and the safe and responsible supply of alcohol will still be required by all premises screening the games. Provisions such as police powers to shut down premises would continue to apply as normal and special conditions like noise management plans would also apply,” Andrew Little said.

The Rugby World Cup is one of the largest and most exciting sporting events on the New Zealand calendar. Supporting New Zealand’s All Blacks team is something that many people consider to be a critical part of being a New Zealander.