Police State?

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Auckland has the top night clubbing scene in New Zealand, and legitimate promoters put on gigs every weekend that attract hundreds of punters to see local DJs and Musicians every week. By and large these start at around 10am, with the main acts starting from 1am going on till about 4am, and the gigs closing at 5 or 6am.

These events attract a very different, often more responsible crowd than what you see drunkenly stumbling around Auckland’s meatmarket clubs on the waterfront. You very rarely see the need for police at these events, and if they are there, its usually due to problems caused by those not attending, after all – who would want to cause a problem at a gig they’ve paid upwards of $20-$30 for ticket entry.

The proposal for restricting access to bars and nightclubs sounds very reminiscant of the old 6 O’Clock swill that we had years ago, and it will all but kill Auckland’s nightclubbing scene, and promote more binge drinking in pubs with the unintended consequence of more drunken stupidity come 3am when all the punters spill out of bars.

Bar owners and promoters will find it harder to recoup their investments in events, to put it in perspective, from a friend who is a promoter who has an event coming up at which he is spending close to $6000 on various things including DJ’s extra reinforced sound, marketing, venue hire etc. If he were forced to close at 3am, he would have to half the amount of acts he could put on for his customers, and the amount of entertainment they’d get for their money, and he would probably lose money on the event, meaning he couldn’t put it on. End result, less people get to see good kiwi musicians, musicians don’t make money, bar doesn’t make money, promoter doesn’t make money, and public don’t get to have fun.

Yes there are trouble makers, they are limited to certain bars, typically those without cover charges or those that cater to the lowest common demoninator… they don’t all need to be treated as trouble makers or drunken louts because of the actions of a relatively small number of idiots.

If anything, this proposal incentivises binge drinking (as people who still want to go out, will get as much as they can before 3am), potential for drunk driving (people still see that there is more to do at the night, so will attempt to drive elsewhere) or illegal unlicenced and underground parties (as it becomes harder to get licencing for your gig). Its far better to have people out in pubs drinking, rather than loud parties in the suburbs… at least the pubs have security, trained staff etc, and the cops know where they are. Driving drinking underground isn’t going to help.

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