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Prohibition of Liquor

MEDIA RELEASE

Prohibition of Liquor

For immediate release on 21 December 2001

Local Government New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Winder has today advised all local authorities to be very careful with the application of the Local Government (prohibition of liquor in public places) Amendment Bill.

Mr Winder also reassured the public that Councils would implement any new liquor ban responsibly.

“Most Councils already have in place temporary liquor bans in public areas where there are likely to be risks to public safety over the Christmas and New Year period. The new legislation does provide for these to be extended, however, to do so the Council must convene a special meeting to pass appropriate resolutions, many will not have time to do that.” This means that most Councils will rely on temporary bans that were in place under the old legislation and will continue to have effect.

“Our advice to our members Councils is to move with considerable caution to ensure that no perverse outcomes eventuate. Since Parliament has enacted legislation that contains an error, the obligation now falls on local government to ensure that in applying the law we do not create a non-sense.”

The provision that has had the most focus in the media can be made to work simply by Councils ensuring that if and when they designate a public place they apply Section 6(1)(b) so that they clearly define the area to which it applies and ensure that the resolution only designates public places.

“I am confident that with appropriate legal guidance Councils will be able to craft resolutions that make this legislation work in the way that was intended – despite the error” Mr Winder said.

Local Government New Zealand welcomes the intent of the legislation and looks forward to this being rectified through the passage of the Local Government Bill next year.

END

CONTACT: Peter Winder, Chief Executive, Local Government New Zealand, phone: (04) 924 1201 or 029 924 1201.

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