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City centre alcohol ban

July 26, 2002


City centre alcohol ban will make Auckland nights safer

Auckland City Council will make a night out in Auckland’s city centre safer and more enjoyable, with a ban on drinking in public places.

The council has approved the recommendation of its Law & Order committee to ban drinking in public places in the city centre from 9pm to 6am, from Thursday evenings to Sunday mornings. The ban is planned to come into force in late September and will be clearly signposted and publicised.

The ban will give police the authority to move people on, remove their alcohol or, in extreme cases, arrest them. Fines of up to $500 can be imposed.

The ban only affects city centre streets and parks – people can continue to enjoy a drink in licensed bars, clubs and restaurants, including pavement seating attached to licensed premises. Off-licences are not affected either – as long as alcohol bought at an off-licence is removed quickly from any public area.

“Auckland city centre is - and must continue to be - a great place for a night out,” said councillor Noelene Raffills, chair of the council’s Law and Order committee. “The ban is another tool for the police to fight crime and safeguard Auckland city centre as the country’s premier nightspot.”

“Every weekend, Aucklanders and visitors from all over New Zealand and around the world flock to the city centre’s pubs, clubs and restaurants.

“However, a small number of people are spoiling the fun by drinking in the street, getting drunk and causing trouble.

“Licensees already have a duty to control people drinking in their bars and clubs. The ban will allow the police to extend that control into the street and stop people drinking before they become aggressive and disruptive – the kind of people we all dread coming across on our nights out.

“At the moment the police have to deal with the results of drinking – the assaults, disorderly behaviour and fighting. This ban will help the police step in before the violence begins.”

Superintendent Howard Broad of Auckland City District Police has welcomed the council decision.

“The ban will help my officers to make the city centre safer, allowing them to deal with drink-related problems before they get out of control.

“The ban is designed to make the city more enjoyable, so we will be enforcing the ban with common sense and discretion – our focus will be on removing the minority who are clearly disruptive and spoiling the city centre for the rest of us.”

Initially, the ban will cover the main city centre, an area roughly bordered by Quay Street, Hobson Street, K’ Road, Queen Street, Mayoral Drive, Kitchener Street, Fort Street, Britomart Place and the public streets around the Viaduct Harbour. A map is available upon request.

The council is also working with the Viaduct Harbour to explore the possibility of extending the ban into private areas of the Viaduct Harbour, and with council parks staff to see whether a ban extension would be justified for Albert Park, Pigeon Park and Symonds Street Cemetery.

ENDS

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