National is pushing for extended opening hours so that more New Zealanders can watch Rugby World Cup (RWC) games, National’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Nikki Kaye says
“Estimates indicate that there are around 40,000 households who will not have access to RWC broadcasts. For them it may be the case they have to go to a local sports club, RSA or pub to watch the game.
“Rural communities and other parts of New Zealand don’t have access to coverage of the games due to a lack of broadband connections or substandard connections.
“Clubs NZ has said that half of their clubs, which includes RSAs, won’t have licences that go late enough for them to show all the RWC games.
“National raised these issues at Parliament’s Business committee a month ago but it appears nothing has happened. With only a month until the World Cup kicks off it is important these issues are resolved quickly.
“Hospitality NZ has said that extended opening hours without the need for special licenses could help an estimated 60 per cent of their members, who are otherwise likely to have issues with being open during some games.
“In 2015 National supported the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Rugby World Cup 2015 Extended Trading Hours) Amendment Bill. David Seymour is also introducing a Members Bill this time around and we will support that.
“National is also looking into wider law changes around events like this, to ensure there doesn’t need to be specific amendments made every time they occur.
“Kiwi rugby fans cannot wait for the Government to get its act together. National will be pushing for this issue to be dealt with urgently.”