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Aucklanders help shape new bylaws

Aucklanders help shape new bylaws

Community feedback has played a major part in the final content of two new regional bylaws adopted by Auckland Council’s Governing Body today.

In adopting the final Navigation Safety and Cemeteries and Crematoria bylaws, Regulatory and Bylaws Committee Chairman Calum Penrose says both are excellent examples of how the consultation and hearing process can have a positive outcome for the community and council.

“With both bylaws we came up with a series of proposals aimed at managing a particular issue – such as public concerns over the number of drownings involving people not wearing lifejackets – and how to protect public health and safety in both situations.

“By the community getting involved in these decisions through the submission process, we could see that in some cases we didn’t quite get it right. So we listened, we considered and we made changes that the council and the public can work with – it’s been a great outcome.

“I think with navigation safety in particular it has transferred the responsibility for keeping people safe back to the skipper,” he says.

Also at today’s meeting, councillors agreed the proposed Animal Management and Alcohol Control bylaws and that an amendment to council’s Health and Hygiene Bylaw are ready to be released for public consultation.

Auckland Council inherited 158 bylaws from Auckland’s former legacy councils and, under the Local Government Act, is required to review all of these by October 2015. The council has now implemented 12 of 30 region-wide bylaws, all of which introduce a fairer and more consistent experience for our customers, no matter where in Auckland they live or own a business.

Reports included on all these bylaws are in the Governing Body agenda, available on the council’s website.

Information on the new and proposed bylaws below:

Navigation Safety Bylaw

Will replace the current Auckland Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2008 and includes new regulations as follows:

• Everyone on a vessel of six metres in length or less will have to wear a lifejacket at all times unless the skipper says it can be removed. This is a change of the original proposal which did not include skippers’ discretion

• That on board every boat there must be some form of communication to enable persons on board to contact the shore if they get in to difficulty. Changes from proposal requiring carrying of a communication device such as a phone or radio.

• That people in charge of a vessel should not be intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

The new bylaw will come in to effect at Labour Weekend and council is developing an awareness and education programme to ensure people are aware of the new regulations and their responsibilities. It will also write to the Minister of Transport to review the Maritime Transport Act to allow the council to issue infringements for breaches of the new regulations.

Cemeteries and Crematoria Bylaw and Code of Practice

This bylaw and code of practice will replace eight bylaws inherited from former councils and replace with a single approach to managing facilities across the region. It will come in to effect from 1 November 2014.

Changes made as a result of consultation including added a series of explanatory notes to the code to provide clarity.

Other changes include

• Giving cemetery managers discretion on how many people can be in the immediate area during a cremation

• Continuing to support family and friends’ desire to be able to fill their loved ones’ grave, but ask that they give cemetery staff notice so that provisions can be made, including having equipment available

• That floral tributes and adornments on graves will be moved to the concrete berm to allow grave maintenance to be carried out

Changes were also made to clarify that approval is not required for the scattering of ashes in public places but that information will be provided about this activity in sensitive areas such as playgrounds and sportsfields.

Proposed bylaws being consulted on from later this month:

Animal Management

Will replace 18 bylaws relating to the management of animals with a single region-wide approach to minimise nuisance and risks to public health and safety.
Includes proposals relating to the keeping of stock (including chickens) and bees and in urban areas and on public places and horse riding in public places.

Alcohol Control Bylaw

Will establish a process for the review of the region’s alcohol control areas (liquor bans). Also proposes that local boards are given delegation to make review the those bans located in their areas.

New legislation requires that all alcohol control areas must be based on evidence of crime and alcohol related harm before a control can be put in place.

Amendment to the Auckland Council Health and Hygiene Bylaw

We propose amending the bylaw to exempt pharmacies from needing a licence to carry out ear piercings as they are already licenced under the Medicines Act 1981 and undergo regular audits by the Ministry of Health.

The bylaw requires health premises piercing the skin (including commercial ear piercing) to get a licence from council.

Ends

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