Public View Sought on Extending the Liquor Ban

24 March 2010

The public's views are to be sought on a citywide plan to stop people drinking and carrying liquor in public places, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is already a 24-hour liquor control ban covering the central business district, Oriental Bay, Mount Victoria lookout, Aro Valley and Central Park.

Wellington City Council today decided to consult with the public on extending the bylaw to cover the entire city.

Recently residents of a number of suburbs have told the Council that people drinking in public in their areas are creating problems with litter, damage and intimidating behaviour, which includes urinating and vomiting in playgrounds, shop frontages, bus shelters and elsewhere.

The consultation will start on Tuesday 30 March and close on Wednesday 5 May. People will be able to have their say online in the Public Input sectin of the website, by email or by posting a submission to the Council.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast said feedback from the public would help the Council make a final decision.

"At present the Council has no way to tackle the abuse of alcohol in public places outside the current bylaw area," she said.

"There's no doubt that the current bylaw has proved to be a valuable tool for police. It gives them a measure of control because they can ask people who are drinking to dispose of their liquor, or give them a warning."

Mayor Prendergast said the Council was working on a comprehensive Alcohol Management Plan, and any extension to the liquor control ban would form part of that. This would help the Council balance people's enjoyment of responsible drinking with the costs and harm experienced when alcohol was abused.