While a Bill allowing bars to remain open for this year’s Rugby World Cup matches had just been passed in Parliament, New Zealand First sports spokesperson Clayton Mitchell is calling for licensed alcohol premises to remain open for big games all year long.
"It's so damn expensive now to watch sports on Sky or to watch sports on a pay network. People can't afford to pay for that at home, so they'd much rather go down to their local pub”.
And he says this is true year-round - not just when there's a World Cup happening.
"At the end of the last Rugby World Cup there wasn't one single issue around the entire country from the extensions given. The vast, vast, vast majority are law-abiding - they actually just want to be able to go down to their local club to watch the game”.
A former pub owner himself, Clayton says most Kiwis are law-abiding citizens and can handle the late bedtime.
“If we look across the ditch in Australia, some of the states over there have recently implemented legislation to identify what games of national significance are, and then those games are automatically exempt from having to apply for a special licence”.