Councillors Vote for Newtown and Mount Cook Liquor Ban

24 June 2010

Wellington City Councillors have dismissed a plan to implement a city-wide liquor ban, instead voting to adopt a 24-hour liquor ban in Newtown and Mount Cook.

Councillors at yesterday's Strategy and Policy Committee voted against a city-wide liquor ban that would have prohibited people from drinking and carrying liquor in public places at all times throughout the city.

They instead agreed to extend the current 24-hour liquor ban covering the central business district, Oriental Bay, Mount Victoria Lookout, Aro Valley and Central Park to include Newtown and Mount Cook. The decision needs to be debated and confirmed by the Council at a Council meeting tomorrow. If adopted the ban will take effect from 10 August.

The move follows a month-long consultation process in which the Council asked people whether they wanted a city-wide liquor ban. The Council received 604 submissions on the proposal: 462 opposed a city-wide ban, 134 supported it and eight were unsure. Independent research by AC Neilson of 600 randomly selected Wellington City households found that 47 percent opposed a city-wide ban while 39 percent supported it.

The Council's Social Portfolio Leader, Ngaire Best, says people made it clear that they didn't want a city-wide liquor ban. "The public told us they didn't want to stop being able to have a social drink at a picnic on the beach or at the park and we've listened to them. However people in Newtown and Mount Cook are having problems with anti-social drinking in their parks and streets. They've asked us to do something about it and so we've agreed to extend the liquor ban to these areas in response to their pleas."

Cr Best says the liquor ban in Aro Valley has made a significant difference to the lives of people in that community. "I have heard only good things about the Aro Valley liquor ban and expect a ban in Newtown and Mount Cook will help curb the problems these communities are experiencing with people drinking in their parks and streets. It will also be a useful tool for police, giving them a measure of control because they can ask people drinking in public places to dispose of their liquor, or give them a warning."