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Law change will allow licenced premises stay open for Rugby World Cup


Rugby World cup 2023 is one of most awaited sporting events of the year (Photo Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, May 11, 2023

The Government will amend the law to ensure licensed premises can stay open during Rugby World Cup matches later this year, ensuring a much needed boost for the hospitality sector, Justice Minister Kiri Allan has announced.

The Men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 will kick off in France in September and time zone differences mean many of the games will be broadcast live outside of the usual trading hours for licensed premises in New Zealand.

A temporary amendment to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 will ensure licensed premises can extend their trading hours to host the games.

A welcome move

“The Rugby World Cup is one of the most significant events on the rugby calendar for fans and coming together with family, friends and the community to watch matches live is a special part of being a New Zealander,” Kiri Allan said.

“It is important Kiwis can enjoy matches in a safe environment, while also supporting the hospitality sector. The amendments will provide the flexibility and certainty the hospitality sector needs to plan for this busy time.”

Similar to the changes made in 2015 and 2019, the amendments will allow eligible licensed premises to open over the course of the tournament for the purpose of televising live games that fall outside of usual trading hours.

Licensed premises will be required to notify Police and local councils of their intention to televise matches outside of normal trading hours and provide details of a noise management plan.

“Based on experience and feedback from Police and other stakeholders, this year’s amendments include additional provisions to enhance Police’s ability to allocate resources,” Ms Allan said.

A Bill will soon be introduced to Parliament, giving effect to the proposed changes in time for the commencement of the Rugby World Cup in September 2023.

About the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup 2023 will take place in France from September 8, 2023 till October 28, 2023 with matches played in nine venues across 10 host cities. The tournament will be the 10th Men’s Rugby World Cup and the second to be hosted by France after a memorable event in 2007.

RWC 2023 will take place in a year when the sport celebrates 200 years since Rugby School pupil William Webb Ellis was credited with inventing the game of rugby football by showing “a fine disregard for the rules” in catching the ball and running with it in 1823.

RWC 2023 will set new standards in social responsibility, inclusion and sustainability for a major rugby event, targeting four key pillars for the tournament’s legacy: acting for sustainability and circular economy, supporting education, training and employment, respecting and protecting the environment and promoting inclusivity by being a champion for gender equality.

The showpiece event in men’s 15s, Rugby World Cup 2023 will feature 20 teams with 48 matches played across 51 days.

First female referee

In a first, a female referee has been included in the list of match officials for a Men’s Rugby World Cup for the first time. Joy Neville, of Ireland, was among a group of 26 match officials representing nine nations announced by World Rugby today. Neville, who was the referee for the Women’s World Cup final in 2017, will be one of the television match officials.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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