A proposed year round alcohol ban in public places in Whiritoa has been canned by the Council following an overwhelming response from the community. The existing seasonal ban during traditional Christmas and New Year periods will remain in place.
A large number of residents and ratepayers submitted written feedback, took to social media, signed petitions, and verbally voiced their opposition to the proposed ban extension, which was part of a wider review of Council’s Alcohol Control Bylaw.
Mayor John Tregidga said the community presented a clear and reasonable case against the proposal.
“It’s fantastic to receive such a passionate response. Having reviewed the feedback, we’ve made a pragmatic decision to respect the community view,” he said, “That’s what the feedback process is all about.”
A proposed permanent alcohol ban at Waitawheta’s Dickey Flat campground, where there is currently no alcohol ban in place, was also part of the review and will be introduced.
Last year the police attended 10 incidents at the campground, three of which were very serious in nature. The Council is also aware of several unreported incidents that have caused a nuisance to campers
“There is definitely an issue with the behaviour of some Dickey Flat campers, which of course is made worse when alcohol’s involved, so we totally support the Police and Department of Conservation who want to see this become an alcohol free area,” the Mayor said.
Other decisions made by the Council after considering all feedback include keeping the status quo on current alcohol bans in public places in Waihi, Ngatea and Paeroa, and extending the Waihi ban slightly to include the 100km/hr speed limit area on Parry Palm Avenue from Dean Crescent toward the town centre.
The new Bylaw will come into effect on Friday, 10 November 2017 will be available to view online and also at Council offices in Ngatea, Paeroa and Waihi from this date.
What does an alcohol ban mean?
- do not apply to the transportation of alcohol in unopened containers. This means you can buy alcohol from a shop and walk home with it without breaching the Bylaw.
- only apply to public places such as reserves, beaches, community halls, school grounds and town centres. They do not apply to social gatherings on private property.
- are enforced by the New Zealand Police, not Council. Police undertake a graduated response to breaches of alcohol bans, which means verbal warnings will be used before fines are given. In extreme cases arrests can be made, but each response will be proportionate to the incident.
Dispensation to an alcohol ban can be sought from the Council for community events so alcohol can be provided. If a special (alcohol) licence has been granted for an event, e.g. a quiz night, then dispensation is automatically given and a further application for dispensation to the Bylaw is not required. View more about Alcohol Ban Dispensations
If you have a noise complaint, you can ring the Council toll free number (0800 734834) at any time of the day/night and a noise control officer will attend the call.
Related items previously published
- We're rethinking drinking (News item - 29/09/2017)
- Booze ban proposed for Dickey Flat campsite (News item - 14/09/2017)
- Feedback about Alcohol Control Bylaw and Gambling Policy (News item - 1/09/2017)