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CBD alcohol ban kicks off tonight

MEDIA RELEASE

26 September 2002


CBD alcohol ban kicks off tonight

If you want to come into the city for an evening drink, stick to licensed premises – and don’t try to take alcohol into public places.

From today drinking in public places in the city centre will be prohibited from 9pm to 6am every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening through to Sunday mornings. The ban is part of Auckland City Council’s wider agenda to make the city a safer, healthier and more enjoyable place.

Councillor Noelene Raffills, chairperson of the Law and Order Committee, says signs have been erected throughout the ban area and the message is ‘Drink Safe’. “It’s about people feeling safe and enjoying a night out in Auckland’s city centre. We want people to enjoy themselves and if they want to have a drink, that’s fine - just drink in a bar, restaurant or club not on the streets.”

Inspector Kerry Kay of Auckland City District Police has welcomed the decision. “At present officers have to wait until disorder breaks out or an offence is committed before they can act. The ban will help the police 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,” says Inspector Kay.

The ban gives the police the authority to ask people to stop drinking alcohol in public places, remove their alcohol or, in extreme cases, arrest them. Fines of up to $500 can be imposed.

All public places, which include streets, footpaths and parks in the CBD, are affected by the ban. People can continue to enjoy a drink in a licensed bar, club or restaurant, including pavement seating that is part of the licensed premise. Off-licenses are not affected either, as long as the alcohol is removed promptly from the liquor ban area.

The ban covers the main city centre, an area roughly bordered by Quay Street, Hobson street, Karangahape Road, Queen Street, Mayoral Drive, Kitchener Street, Fort Street, Britomart Place and the public streets around the Viaduct area.

“I salute the enormous work done by all the parties involved to achieve this CBD-wide liquor ban,” said Auckland Mayor, John Banks.

“Very soon there will be a huge influx of visitors out and about enjoying our city. We want them to have a pleasant and trouble-free visit to Auckland. We also want a safer city for residents.

The liquor ban will ensure Police can enforce good standards of behaviour throughout the CBD, stamping out problems before they begin,” he says.

“Aucklanders want their Council to get tough on law and order, and we have responded to their calls. Council’s zero tolerance graffiti campaign, our get-tough policy on boy-racers and now the central city liquor ban all send out a strong message that unruly behaviour is unwelcome and will not be tolerated.”

ENDS

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