How to get moderately boozed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day this year

Around this time every year, the howls of agony echo around the country – from south to north, people who enjoy a drink in moderation have just realised that religious traditions have imposed on their freedoms. But forewarned is forearmed.

Bars, super markets and bottle shops will be forced to stop selling bevvys at midnight on Thursday night, all of Friday and again at midnight on Saturday night. That means an early home-time on Thursday and Saturday, and abandoning any idea of a night out on Friday. You will not be going to the pub on Sunday. On Anzac Day you’re out of luck until 1pm – not the worst thing in the world but an inconvenience nonetheless.

If you fancy a bottle of something to get you through the cyclone, it is best to stock up now. There are, however, a few other options.

Should you be on a licensed premises with the express purpose of dining, you can drink from one hour before you eat and up to an hour afterwards, then you gotta bounce. If the good old days of 6pm closing times are anything to go by, you can do plenty of damage in an hour or two with the right attitude so this is a viable option. Eating is cheating, as that old chestnut goes, but in this case it’s The Man getting styled on. Keep in mind however that while what constitutes ‘dining’ is somewhat vague, a bowl of peanuts or some nacho chips won’t cut the mustard.

Outside of that hour you’re buggered – unless, of course, you live at a pub! If you reside on premises as a guest, lodger, tenant or employee you can drink to your hearts content.

Don’t live at a pub and can’t find a restaurant? Consider boarding a licensed ferry, yacht or train. You still have to eat, but you can drink in the process.

No suitable transport nearby? Don’t panic just yet; the Koru Club has confirmed they will be serving alcohol all weekend, so long as you also order food.

To take that to its logical conclusion, there are international flights departing from Auckland Airport all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So if the thirst strikes, consider a long haul flight to Dubai, Los Angeles, Hong Kong or anywhere else that takes your fancy.

2018 update! If you live in the South Island, here’s some other good options. First of all, Dunedin drinkers can get amongst all weekend under certain conditions, thanks to  a bylaw change to accomodate the ginger wonderboy Ed Sheeran concerts. (He’s good now because of this.) But, any Dunedin bar that does open on Good Friday or Easter Sunday has to make it a ‘special event.’ In response to that, one taproom will let people in for a $20 entry fee, but then also give them a large lamb roll.

And if you’re in Christchurch, there will never be a better time to go and watch a day of test cricket than Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Hagley Park’s website says alcohol will be available across all five days of the test, starting on Good Friday. Better still, they won’t even have a public holiday surcharge. (Eden Park, take note.)

But here’s a question – why can’t we buy beer whenever we want? Seriously. Why not?

Why are the traditions of one group’s belief system governing what we can and can’t do? We don’t ban supermarkets from selling food during Ramadan. We don’t enforce candle lighting on Hannukah. There’s no government-mandated abstinence on Lent.

I’m not even a militant atheist – I’ve watched enough Planet Earth to hold off on completely discounting some creative force, but this is some archaic bullshit. We shouldn’t have to move into a pub to have beer on any Friday, and particularly not one that’s supposedly “good”.


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