In 1929 the Coutts brothers were given a licence for a new brewery at Waitematā, to the disgust of the temperance movement. When it opened, these members of the movement prayed for the building to be turned into a flour or woollen mill. Although activists never succeeded in getting the required number of votes to introduce prohibition to New Zealand, the vote remained close throughout the 1920s and the temperance movement was a continual political presence. This ensured that hotel owners had little incentive to make their bars more attractive lest they lost their investment or attracted the ire of the temperance movement. Drinking took place in uncomfortable conditions and away from prying eyes.
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