Closing time for Banks

Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, October 2nd, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, john banks - Tags: ,

john banksThere is an astounding editorial in today’s business newspaper The Independent (not online) titled Foolish idea spirited away. Commenting on the recent 11pm closing time fiasco for Auckland restaurants and bars, the paper slams Banks’ leadership saying, ‘the embarrassing back down by Auckland City Mayor John Banks on proposed liquor-law changes doesn’t bode well for sensible decision-making if he gets elected in the new super-city.’

John Banks and his C&R sidekick Cr Aaron Bhatnager have turned into the anti-fun killjoy busybodies of Auckland city. Before trying to make sure everyone in Auckland is safely tucked up in bed before midnight, they were busy slapping after-hours parking tickets out on people out on the town. It’s like they don’t want anyone to have fun in the country’s biggest city.

Quoting the Independent: ‘Publicans in suburban Auckland reacted angrily to the idea of being forced to close at 11pm, or midnight with an extended licence. Rightly so. It’s one of the more stupid ideas I’ve seen come out of local government in a while. I was sitting in a new bar in my local neighbourhood on Friday, and as 11pm rolled around my 40-something friends and I commented how, under the proposed law change, we would have been turfed out the door.’

Ouch, how’s that for losing the middle-class middle-aged vote in Auckland’s central suburbs? And then when you’re getting headlines like this: Publican: Council happy to bankrupt me you know business is on the way out the door too.

The Independent goes on to hammer Bhatnager who had the cheek to blame council officers for the liquor policy by noting both he and Banks voted for the policy. Indeed, Banks is quoted here as saying “my fingerprints” were all over the effort to close down suburban bars at 11pm. I’m sure Aucklanders will be repeatedly reminded of this fact during the next twelve months.

The rest of Auckland better watch out if these two wowsers are in charge of the whole city next year. The Independent concludes: ‘Voters may well question Banks’ decision-making prowess after this liquor-law debacle, especially when you take into account the added pressure the super-city structure will bring.’ Indeed.

25 comments on “Closing time for Banks”

  1. people still read the independent?

  2. Lew 2

    Banksie on a similar proposal a wee bit over a year ago:

    We’re not closing this town down to capitulate to delinquent behaviour from louts late at night. We’re not going to do it.

    Buy that man a Tui.

    L

  3. toad 3

    Banks did a pretty good job in his first year of this term as Mayor to hide his right wing authoritarian nature. But I guess as the pressure comes on, he just can’t help himself.

    As well as this debacle, I suspect he will be continually reminded over the coming year of his expression of delight at the number of jobs that will be lost through the supercity amalgamation, and his embarrassing backdown on that one too.

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    I hope the authority to decide local liquor licensing issues is devolved to local boards. Communities should be able to decide whether pubs should be open in their areas, and when.

    • toad 4.1

      Tim, that’s one of the few sensible things I have ever heard you say here. Congratulations. There may be hope for you yet.

      I would add that whether they should be allowed to have pokie licences should also be delegated to local boards.

      • Tim Ellis 4.1.1

        I agree with that too toad, I think in general pokie machines should be controlled locally. In the CBD it’s probably a bit difficult, given any further control of pokie machines will just decrease competition with the casino, but outside the inner CBD, yes I think locals should make these decisions.

      • Jared 4.1.2

        Agree with this sentiment. Although, I would prefer pokies to be eradicated full stop.
        Although to be fair, Auckland does have a problem with the bottle, and whilst I disagree with the policy, there needs to be more consultation around safety in the CBD, especially near bars.

    • BLiP 4.2

      Bloody hell!!

      Someone shoot me – I agree with Tim.

      • The Voice of Reason 4.2.1

        Actually, I reckon Tim’s agreeing with us. I think we’re wearing him down with logic, patience and his obvious reliance on us to add meaning to his life. A sort of Stockholm Syndrome, BLiP. He’s been a hostage here for so long, he’s starting to go all Patty Hearst on us. He’ll be joining the union, sneering at the straights and sticking it to the man before much longer, mark my words.

        And while I’m on the tip, Tim; you’re not Banks’ auditor are you? It would explain a lot.

  5. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    On the other hand- you may want to give him some credit. Last week in the Saturday Herald- he spoke out against Stephen Joyce’s proposed Auckland Transport Authority structure- commenting it concentrated too much power in the hands of Wellington.

    Personally, I wouldn’t vote for him and I hate it when pollies blame underlings who can’t defend themselves publicly.

    But I was pleasantly surprised when he stood up against Joyce.

  6. Ianmac 6

    When I heard of the back-down I expected the spin to be “We listened to the views of Aucklanders and therefore we changed our minds. Aren’t we good for the people.”
    I wondered about the Rodney backdown for the same reason. The Govt was being hammered for running rough-shod over the people re the Super-City, so changing the Rodney decision was a show of “listening” to the people. No?

    • BLiP 6.1

      The Auckland City Council ignores any written or in-person submissions that don’t suit their agenda, but it would seem the blogosphere has a real impact. A Facebook Page that attracted some 3000 people appears to have been the main stimulus for the backdown. Listen here as Sean Plunket gives Bhatnagar a bad dose of butthurt and leaves him spluttering, blaming staff, and finally admitting it was Facebook that changed his tiny mind.

  7. BLiP 7

    They are a bunch of wowsers – from John Banks and Deputy Mayor Hay down, the City Rats team is sprinkled with fundamentalist christians seeking to impose their view of the world on the city socially and economically. The only good thing to come out of this debacle is that Bhatnagar’s mendacious attempt to sheet home total blame to Council staff will isolate him from their ability to make life easy. Good job.

  8. The Voice of Reason 8

    He didn’t seem to mind late night drinking when I and many others did it in the Cavalier back in the day. But then he was making money off it, eh.

    I recall that his Dad was an alcoholic and an all round bad egg, which might colour his views and lead to a touch of wowserism, but he had no problems owning a pub (or 3?) and I bet he’d have had strong views if the council told him the licenced hours were gonna be chopped for reasons of bad behaviour unrelated to his own establishment.

    Plonker. (Pun intended)

  9. Talk about “nanny state”!

  10. Tom 10

    Did anyone see the Bernard Orsman story on Banks and leaky homes buried in the property section of the NZ Herald of 22 September 2009? It reveals a very murky side of Banks, and explains why he now wants to socialise the repair bill from his developer mates onto the taxpayer.

  11. tc 11

    Banks is our very own Ronnie Regan…..looks only after his mates, is a thick as 2 short planks, that’s why he refuses all head to head debates with opponents and chooses media mates when a podiums required.
    Was a crap minister whatever the portfolio, is worth millions mostly made from the industry he’s trying to kneecap (and public office) and bangs on about ‘ a great city needs…..’ insert pet project like an art gallery revamp/queens wharf.
    This ticking off of gov’t ministers is his advisers telling him to in order to project ‘balance’…..the man’s a vacuous righteous has been.
    If John Banks is the answer then the questions is far too simple and designed for the born to rule brigade but he’s exactly the puppet Johnny and rodders want so they can pull his strings.

  12. tc 12

    banks is past his use by date, worth millions, pretty dull and only cares about his mates and getting told what to do…….JK and rodders ideal super mayor really

  13. vto 13

    Just ban alcohol fullstop.

    Frickin’ dumbos.

    It’s just like the anti-smacking law. Fuck off authorities – I think the average person can decide how to raise their children, and how to imbibe, better than you.

    This whole area of intrusion is a classic case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. Banks will come undone just like Bradford did if what you say is true.

    • Actually it shows how really really dumb Banks, Bhatnager and the other b******s are. No matter what they think or believe, did they really think that politically they could sell this?

      • Jared 13.1.1

        At least Bhatnager has the balls to admit where a policy is wrong, and repealed it, rather than passing it in the face of public opposition, ala EFA, Anti Smacking Bill….

        • BLiP 13.1.1.1

          Trouble is, Jared, there is a process to go through. Bhatnagar can’t just announce that the policy will will be withdrawn without referring it back to the committee which approved it in the first place. Submissions are still open until 7 October despite what your mate has to say about it; the consultation process is still going on F F S . . . ! ! ! – 1 1 1 – ! ! !

          If Bhatnagar had any balls he wouldn’t be trying to blame council staff for his arrogance and incompetence.

  14. Lindsey 14

    I remember a particularly vicious third party campaign during the 2007 local body elections when OGGI billboards were driven around Auckland City with a sign on them saying “don’t vote City Vision – they are the Fun Police”.
    Who is the Fun Police now Mr Banks and Mr Bhatagar?

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