Liquor Ban Consultation

29 March 2010

Should we stop people drinking and carrying liquor in public places across the entire city for 24 hours a day, seven days a week? We're keen to hear what you think.

The remnants of a drinking binge at Newtown's Carrara Park

The remnants of a drinking binge at Newtown's Carrara Park

A number of communities have told us that people drinking in public places are creating problems with litter, damage and intimidating behaviour, including urinating and vomiting in places such as playgrounds, shop frontages and bus shelters.

Our aim is for Wellington to be a safe, healthy, vibrant city for people to live, work and play in - but misuse of liquor is damaging this goal. While alcohol-related problems resulting from drinking in public places may not happen as often in suburban and city fringe locations as it does in the central city, when it does happen it has a significant impact on locals and how safe they feel in their suburb.

There's already a 24/7 liquor ban on drinking and carrying liquor in the central business district, Oriental Bay, Mount Victoria lookout, Aro Valley and Central Park.

We're considering extending that ban across the entire city and we want you to tell us what you want for your city - you'll find details about how to have your say on our website or by phoning us on (04) 499 4444.

We prefer the option of extending the 24/7 liquor ban across the entire city partly because it would allow police to respond at an early stage to situations in public places when it looks as if violence, property damage, intimidation and general disruption may happen as a result of people drinking.

There would also be a consistent, easily understood rule applying to the whole city. We're also concerned that if the ban is just extended by one or two suburbs the problem will emerge in another suburb - this has been our experience in the last four years.

If the liquor ban was extended, it would become part of a bigger picture - the Alcohol Management Plan, which we're working on at the moment. This would ensure a consistent citywide approach to alcohol management. We want to strike the right balance between enabling people to enjoy the benefits of alcohol while reducing the costs and harm experienced when alcohol is abused.

The police say anyone breaching the ban would be given an opportunity to either relinquish their alcohol or leave the public place. You can find out more about this important issue by visiting the Public Input section of this website or by calling (04) 499 4444 and asking for the summary of information about the proposal to be posted to you.

You can also inspect the full proposal at our offices in Wakefield Street. To make a submission, either fill in the submission form online or from the information pack and post it to us. Remember that submissions close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 5 May.