16 April 2021
The NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) supports the recent decision of the Alcohol Regulatory & Licensing Authority Te Mana Waiture Take Waipiro (ARLA) to refuse the renewal of an off-licence for Two Brothers Wholesale Limited operating in Tokoroa.
“The alcohol industry stands firmly against the exploitation of workers in any industry. We condemn this behaviour. There is certainly no place for these types of operators in our industry, and we agree there should be serious consequences for any rogue operators who exploit workers and are in breach of employment law,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director.
“The industry supports good employment practices. Some industry members attended the recent ‘Tango i Te Kaupae Muri – Take the next step’ conference at Parliament that looked at collaborations to end modern-day slavery and worker exploitation within New Zealand,” says Bridget.
“New Zealand has some of the most stringent legislation and regulations for the sale and supply of alcohol. The majority of the industry is committed to complying with these laws and ensuring good employment practices and obligations are also met. There is no room for people who have total disregard for their responsibilities as liquor licence holders or employers. When people play by their own rules, it not only creates an uneven operating environment but more importantly brings into question the fairness towards, and health and safety of employees in that workplace,” says Bridget.
“We strongly support that suitability should be considered when granting licences, and that prosecutions are pursued or licences are not renewed or granted where people do not meet their obligations as a good employer. The robust legal process that comes with alcohol licensing through ARLA sets strong precedents, and we are pleased to see ARLA changing their previous stance to clarify that history as an employer is relevant to the test of good character to hold a liquor licence,” she said.
“Businesses have an obligation to operate with integrity and within the law. This decision should serve as a stern warning for any business exploiting workers that the authorities will take the necessary steps to ensure this abhorrent behaviour is stamped out,” says Bridget.
Need more information?
• Ministry of Health/HPA Guidelines: Low-risk alcohol drinking advice to reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:
– Two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week,
– Three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week,
– AND have at least two alcohol-free days every week.
Call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, free txt 8681, or visit alcoholdrughelp.org.nz.