Why is Council reviewing alcohol ban areas in the District?

    In late 2015 Council received a proposal from Te Puke Police and Te Puke Community Board to introduce an alcohol ban in the town centre. This was prompted by locals’ concerns about disorderly and anti-social behaviour related to alcohol consumption.

    Banning alcohol in areas occurs through Council’s Liquor Control Bylaw. The current bylaw only enables Council to impose alcohol bans in Waihi Beach and Katikati, so a review is needed to consider a ban in Te Puke.

    Legislation requires Council to review its bylaw before December 2018, otherwise the existing bans will lapse.

    Council is undertaking a full review of the current bylaw, which includes considering any new alcohol ban areas and whether the existing bans in Katikati and Waihi Beach should continue.

    In its proposed Alcohol Control Bylaw 2016, Council is proposing to retain the existing bans in Waihi Beach and Katikati and impose a new ban in Te Puke.

    What areas are under review?

    Council sought community feedback in Jan/Feb 2016 as to where in the District people felt there was alcohol-related crime and disorder. After considering this feedback and police crime reports Council is proposing bans in Te Puke, Katikati and Waihi Beach.

    What does an alcohol ban mean for Te Puke?

    The possession and consumption of alcohol will be prohibited in the town centre (the proposed area is shown in the Te Puke bylaw map). Council is proposing a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ban in this area. Police are responsible for enforcing the bylaw –  you could lose your alcohol and also be issued with a $250 fine if you breach the bylaw.

    What if I have a question?

    You can ask us a question on our Q&A forum on this website, email alcoholcontrolreview@westernbay.govt.nz or phone 0800 WBOPDC.

    How can I have my say on this topic?

    1) Draft Bylaw

    The draft bylaw reflects community views received this far. We want to hear from you as to whether we have got it right with the specific proposals in the bylaw. Feedback is welcome between 13 April and 13 May, 2016.

    2) Have Your Say Sessions

    As well as written/online feedback, we will give you the opportunity to attend round table discussions (during the week commencing 13 June) so you can speak with Elected Members. To attend you need to give written/online feedback and opt in on the feedback form to attend a Have Your Say session.

    What criteria must be met to add or retain an alcohol ban?

    Alcohol bans are subject to a new set of legislative requirements. These set a higher threshold that must be met for Council to retain an existing alcohol ban, or impose any new alcohol bans.

    The new rules mean public desire for an alcohol ban alone is not enough, and that evidence of a high level of crime and disorder without a ban must be proven.

    Previously the threshold to make an alcohol ban did not require a detailed analysis of alcohol-related crime or disorder, and alcohol bans could be applied to similar types of public places with one decision (e.g. blanket alcohol ban on all parks due to problems experienced on a few specific parks).

    This approach is no longer acceptable. All alcohol bans need to be assessed independently for high levels of the alcohol-related crime or disorder occurring in the specific ban area.

    Council is required by legislation to be satisfied that:

    • It can be justified as a reasonable limitation on people’s rights and freedoms

    • There is evidence the area to which the bylaw is intended to apply has experienced a high level of crime and disorder that can be shown to have been caused or made worse by alcohol consumption in that area

    • The bylaw is an appropriate and proportionate response in light of that crime and disorder.

    Council was satisfied with the evidence for a ban in Te Puke, Katikati and Waihi Beach.

    What are some examples of alcohol-related crime or disorder?

    Examples of alcohol-related crime or disorder include:

    • alcohol-related broken glass and/or litter

    • inappropriate behaviour as a result of drinking alcohol, including urinating in public, and public disorder/nuisance behaviours such as property damage or fighting

    • people congregating in public places, drinking alcohol and being noisy and disruptive to neighbours

    • people drinking alcohol which led to aggressive, intimidating or offensive behaviours towards others.

    What other initiatives, apart from alcohol bans, could help reduce crime and disorder?

    A number of initiatives can assist in reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder. Some of these can be implemented by Council – others by the Police or other service providers in our communities. We would like to hear your feedback on whether Council should be considering any of these options alongside the bylaw.

    • Redesigning ‘hot spots’ for anti-social behaviour. For example, removing park benches or increasing lighting in areas where people are known to linger and cause nuisance

    • Developing more effective solutions to ensure access to services are available to assist those with persistent alcohol issues

    • Police using existing legislation to fine people who behave in a disorderly or threatening manner, use indecent or obscene words, fight in a public place, obstruct a public way, indecently expose themselves, damage property or vegetation, or excrete in a public place. They can also take an intoxicated person home or detain them until they cease to be intoxicated

    • Council increasing its monitoring for compliance of licensed premises

    • Council restricting the number of premises that can sell alcohol and/or where they are located.

    Are there any reasons why we wouldn’t want an alcohol ban in our community?

    Some New Zealand research suggests alcohol control bylaws place undue restriction on the reasonable consumption of alcohol in public places.

    This affects people who are unlikely to cause nuisance or disruption as a result of consuming alcohol – such as a family having fish and chips in a park and the parents enjoying a glass of wine or a beer with their food.

    Alcohol bans can also be seen as detrimental to businesses and visitors, as people think the area is not safe to visit – given an alcohol ban should only be introduced where there are ongoing issues with disorderly behaviour and crime.

    Alcohol bans may also move anti-social behaviour to elsewhere in the township or district where the alcohol ban does not apply.

    I live outside of Waihi Beach, Katikati and Te Puke – why should I care?

    The review takes in the entire District. You might want to tell us about problems you have encountered elsewhere in the Western Bay, or while visiting any of the main centres. We want our residents and visitors to feel safe in our District, and we want to hear from you if there is anything further Council can do to help to make our town centres safe and enjoyable places to be.

    What is the difference between alcohol bans and the Local Alcohol Policy?

    Alcohol bans apply restrictions to the consumption and possession of alcohol in public places. The Local Alcohol Policy regulates the sale of alcohol in a District, and the location of licensed premises - so these matters are outside the scope of this bylaw review.