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Thursday, July 26, 2012


I find it difficult to comprehend how a bar can operate inside the Beehive. Actually inside the executive wing where the business of government is conducted. Not just a restaurant that serves alcohol with meals, but a bar?


The parliamentary catering facilities of Bellamy’s include a bar known as Pickwicks or 3.2 (due to its position in the building on the third floor and second corridor), Copperfield's café, and the Member's and Member's and Guests restaurants.

This just doesn't fit. It sends all the wrong messages and promotes the use of alcohol as a normal part of the business of politics and governance.

The older female MPs seem to revel in having abolished the smoking and billiards room and the male culture that went along with it, but no-one of either gender or age seems to have a problem with alcohol being at the heart of the sphere of national decision-making. How odd to have accepted this as normal...

or is it?

The parliamentary boozer is exempt from the Sale of Liquor Act 1989

section 5 (3) Nothing in this Act applies to—
(d) any person who supplies, keeps for sale, or sells any liquor at the House of Representatives by the permission and under the control of the House of Representatives; or

This part also applies to the bars at NZ Police, the Fire Service and NZ defence force establishments that a free to sell alcohol how they want (ie. without normal accountability). But I note that if we go back we will find that in the fifth Act ever passed by the NZ Parliament (in 1854) the MPs - who at that early stage were all male, land-owning Pakeha - gave themselves that special right:

So, since the earliest days of parliamentary democracy the MPs have insisted that alcohol and politics do mix.  Is it any wonder that they have such problems legislating against the booze companies when the drinking culture is so entrenched at the highest levels?


At 26/7/12 5:28 pm, Blogger Sam Hill said...

Timothy, that bar has been pathetic since the days of Helen Clark. I went there for a beer last night with a couple of friends who work at Parliament and we were the only people there. John Key has basically told his MPs not to go to 3.2

At 27/7/12 7:47 pm, Blogger countryboy said...

@ Sam Hill .... Perhaps that's because johnky-stien and his ( Russian ! ) cronies Are Not Human . Seriously ! Have you seen their belly buttons ? No ? See ! What kind of creepy humanoid doesn't go to a bar with his / her /it's friends ? The Greed Monster . That's who . Those whom have things to hide , that's who . Those secretive little corporate minions , that's who . Those metallic tasting creatures of the night .Have I gone too far ? I have ! Excellent .


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