Monday, December 04, 2006


A Wellington bar owner has refused to accept Parliament's decision not to raise the drinking age, and is banning 18 and 19-year olds from their premises. Their "justification"?

"As a private business we have the right of refusal."

Actually, they don't. As I pointed out last time some stupid bar owner had this bright idea, s44 of the Human Rights Act 1993 outlaws discrimination in the provision of goods and services (such as selling alcohol). And "age" (meaning "any age commencing with the age of 16 years") is listed as one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination in s21 (i). So while the Sale of Liquor Act requires them to refuse service to anyone under 18, refusing it to anyone who meets the purchase age - whether teenagers, 40-somethings, or crufty old pensioners - is illegal. You can't stick up a sign saying "No Maoris" in your public bar, and you can't refuse to serve 18 and 19-year olds either.


Good spot, I/S. This one should bring a libertarian or two out of the woodwork (not that they need encouragement) to offer a heroic defence of the rights of private property owners, including the right to discriminate as they see fit.

Of course, there are more subtle ways to exclude that sticking up "No under-20s" or "No Maoris" signs.

Posted by dc_red : 12/04/2006 12:00:00 PM

Meant to add: saw a sign in a brew pub over the weekend to the effect of:

"Due to recent problems, we will refuse to sell flagons to anyone under 30".

Good luck debating that one with the barkeep.

Posted by dc_red : 12/04/2006 12:02:00 PM

hehe (damned wood) already have. Why shouldn't they have the right to discriminate? Why should I HAVE to sell alcohol to whoever wants to buy it from me? It is utterly ridiculous.

Yes that does include the right to say "No Maoris", but that also means that all my suppliers have the right to boycott me because of my "political belief", it also would probably mean a significant boycott and protests.

There is no more a good reason to force businesses to do business with people than there is to force potential employees to work with organisations they disagree with.

Posted by Libertyscott : 12/04/2006 12:12:00 PM

DC_Red: My response to them is already here. Anti-discrimination legislation is about preserving freedom for all - but Libertarians are only interested in freedom for the few (meaning the rich and powerful).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/04/2006 12:21:00 PM

So libertyscott, if the bar owner decided to put up a sign saying "no libertarians" would that be ok too?

Posted by Span : 12/04/2006 12:47:00 PM

One of the main reasons I go to bars is because of the number of 18-19-year-old chicks. This is an outrage!

As an aside, do you think it's discriminatory when hotels and supermarkets refuse to sell alcohol to people under 25 if they don't have ID, when the age limit is 18?

Posted by Insolent Prick : 12/04/2006 12:54:00 PM

"DC_Red: My response to them is already here. Anti-discrimination legislation is about preserving freedom for all "

Anyone who can write that without batting an eye at the glaring contradiction it contains is retarded.

Any right to liberty and to execise freedom includes the right to discriminate for whatever reason one wishes...they are inseperable collolaries.The right to Liberty is the right to remain free from other people you do not wish to associate with...How being forced to deal with people that you do not wish to is "freedom" escapes me..are posters here going to own up to the fact that what they really want to ban is freedom itself?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/04/2006 01:03:00 PM

"So libertyscott, if the bar owner decided to put up a sign saying "no libertarians" would that be ok too?"

Yes....absolutly.If you were able to think in principles you would have realised that question was redundant when asked of a Libertarian like LS.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/04/2006 01:05:00 PM

Supermarkets should ask for ID from everybody before they sell alcohol to them, eighteen or eighty. No ID, no sale.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/04/2006 02:32:00 PM

So should I be forced to fuck fat chicks too, in order to comply with the HRA?

Because currently I have a dicriminatory no fat commie bitches policy in my bed.. I'd hate to have to change that over a piece of legislation.


Posted by deleted : 12/04/2006 02:46:00 PM

Oh dear, it appears it is International Day of the Rude Right Wing Troll.

Posted by Span : 12/04/2006 03:35:00 PM

Rude - yes
Troll - no
Right wing - on a bad day

Just pointing out the irrationality of anti discrimination laws.

Why is it ok for me to discriminate in the bedroom which is private property, but not in a bar.

Taking it further, could someone take a prositute to task for discrimination for failing to sell their services to a drunk/smelly/old /whatever potential client..

Posted by deleted : 12/04/2006 03:59:00 PM

drunk - no
smelly - no
old - yes

you may know that "public house" is another name for a bar...

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/04/2006 04:16:00 PM

While it may be called a public house, its still private property..

Posted by deleted : 12/04/2006 04:44:00 PM

basically libertarians want us all to head back to tribalisim where anyone not of the tribe is excluded.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/04/2006 06:31:00 PM

Graeme: I think section 17(1) of the Prostitution Reform Act covers that case too: "a person may, at any time, refuse to provide, or to continue to provide, a commercial sexual service to any other person". So I think that no, they couldn't be taken to task over "old" either.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/04/2006 06:47:00 PM

True. I wasn't thinking that far ahead.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/04/2006 07:21:00 PM

> So should I be forced to fuck fat chicks too, in order to comply with the HRA?

yup. hehe fat girls need loving too.
the world would be a lot more fair if they could get it whenever they wanted. Well... fairer for them....

I wonder - Does discrimination law apply to the employee? could you say "you refused to take this job because it is, lets say, an "asian company"? or 'you refused to join this organiztion because it is mostly a certain religion/race.

Posted by Genius : 12/04/2006 07:59:00 PM

A legal way round it for the barkeep would be to employ a bouncer. Bouncers don't have to give a reason to refuse entry, and are already skilled at defying the HRC on all manners of discrimination.

Posted by Will de Cleene : 12/04/2006 08:36:00 PM

genius - no it does not.

zippy - that wouldn't be legal, it just makes it more difficult to prove.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/04/2006 09:55:00 PM

"So libertyscott, if the bar owner decided to put up a sign saying "no libertarians" would that be ok too?"

of course, and why not? The bar owner can exclude me for being adopted, asthmatic, male, wearing contact lenses, atheist or any other grounds. Why MUST I be allowed in?

"but Libertarians are only interested in freedom for the few (meaning the rich and powerful)"

Yes of course, I want the middle class and poor to be slaves, oops I AM middle class, so are most of my friends and family. Few things are more arrogant than a socialist who truly believes that those with different views are not only wrong, but malevolent.

The human rights law goes far beyond characteristics which are not your fault, but into religious belief (which IS a personal choice)and political belief (ditto).

Participation in society does not require a law to force retailers to do business with you - this is NOT the American South in the 1950s, and if people acted that way then confront them. Confront racists, homophobes directly, don't cause them to hide their vile beliefs and discriminate in other ways.

and yes, if you truly believe this is important than have it apply to personal sexual choices. People kill themselves out of loneliness and suffer great despair because they don't get enough sex - few people give a damn if they can't get into a particular pub - it is about time you regulated those cruel attractive people who don't ration out their bodies to the needy and less attractive, particularly the ones who only discriminate because of political beliefs and religion.

No, unfortunately you'll think it's terribly important that a person owning a business is compelled to do business with an 18yo even if he or she doesn't want to. Very liberal.

Posted by Libertyscott : 12/05/2006 02:07:00 AM

I believe in the states there was a supreme court case where they established that private companies could not be forced to not discriminate.

The case in point was that a gay group wanted to join a veterans parade. The veterans thought that was the stupidest thing they'd ever head of and excluded them. Turns out they couldn't, so they cancelled the parade. The gay group tried to force them to have the parade with them in it through the courts, hence the ruling.

To me, it boils down to this: When you take anti-discrimination laws to their fullest extent you get slavery, where the powerful (politicians) dictate to the citizens.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/05/2006 10:16:00 AM

They do, in fact, have that right. It's just that the Government doesn't recognise it.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 12/05/2006 01:21:00 PM

The owner (or their agent i.e. the leasee) can refuse anyone entry to the premises without explanation or reason. So they will sell alcohol to anyone but will refuse entry to anyone under 20.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/11/2006 03:01:00 PM

Anonymous at comment 24 - not legally they can't.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/11/2006 04:29:00 PM