News | 4 March 2016

More research needed to reduce alcohol harm

Wellington City Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee has decided not to resubmit its Local Alcohol Policy.

Community, Sport and Recreation Committee Chairperson Paul Eagle says the decision will allow more time to gather information and consider decisions on other appeals prior to determining if the Council requires a local alcohol policy.

“While this might seem frustrating to some, we need to manage this in a way that gets the right results and at the moment the information we have is not complete. I expect Council officers to come back to Committee as soon as they have the required information, which could be by the end of the year.”

The decision means the City will remain operating under the parameters set under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 – with city bars having a default closing time of 4am.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders – including police, health experts, inner-city residents and members of the hospitality industry to find the best long-term solution.

“Since the default hours were introduced 15 months ago information provided to council show emergency department presentations up but alcohol-related crime down, showing more analyse and interpretation of data is needed.”

Wellington’s Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, urges the Government to introduce minimum pricing: “We recognise the value of minimum pricing, and I urge the Government to introduce it as a tool to reduce harm caused by alcohol.”

Cr Eagle says a report on Council’s Alcohol Management Strategy – which is looking at alcohol related behaviour and reducing alcohol related harm – will be presented to the Community, Sport and Recreation Committee in August.