BYO bill offers race day clarity

BYO bill offers race day clarity

The Westport News, Westport  by Raquel Joseph          08 June 2023

Legislation allowing people to bring their own alcohol to horse racing events is good news for Westport, says its trotting club president.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Exemption for Race Meetings) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament last night.

The bill allows race clubs with three or fewer meetings a year to offer a bring your own (BYO) alcohol option.

Westport Trotting Club president Johnny Reedy said that while there was more to learn about what would be required from the club, it was good news.

He said BYO at club meets had been legal over the years, but how to operate it was a "grey area".

"BYO has continued all the way through but there was no certainty over it. We had to have a specific licensed area, marshall it, and maintain it." Mr Reedy doubted the club would lose much in alcohol sales.

He said the bill was designed for small clubs, like Westport and Reefton, that didn't have the resources of large centres.

National Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie, who led the amendment bill through Parliament, said it would encourage people to re-engage with club meetings.