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New Zealand festival goes alcohol-free after failing to get licence

By | Published on Tuesday 6 February 2018

Shipwrecked

New Zealand festival Shipwrecked went ahead completely free of alcohol last weekend. I know, imagine! Rather than being some stand on public health, the booze ban was actually the result of organisers failing to get the required alcohol licence.

An application for said licence was apparently made in December, but was turned down following opposition. An appeal hearing was scheduled, but did not leave enough time before the event for a decision to be made. Some clearly hoped that this would cause the whole festival to be cancelled, but it went ahead nonetheless.

Police said ahead of the event that they would be on site to ensure that there was no alcohol, saying in a statement: “Specialised advice has been supplied by the Police Alcohol Harm Reduction Officers in relation to liability should the occupiers sell or expose alcohol on the site, or allow alcohol to be brought onto the site, under the Sale And Supply Of Alcohol Act 2012”.

Environmental campaigners argue that the event is disruptive to the rare birds that live in neighbouring woodland. However, the owner of the site on which it takes place, Arnim Pierau, says that the event has been treated unfairly.

“Our applications were made within given timeframes”, heĀ told Stuff.co.nz. “It would have been nice to have had alcohol on site, and would have made a tonne of money, but this sort of event doesn’t rely on alcohol”.

He added that he wasn’t convinced by the argument that the event had a negative impact on local wildlife, saying: “Everywhere, when people can’t get what they want, they pull out a rare lizard”.



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