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Cheers To Safer Public Places: Refreshed Alcohol-Free Areas Promote Community Well-being

A bylaw that supports a family-friendly environment by reducing the potential for alcohol related offensive behaviour has been refreshed in time for the summer season.

Queenstown Lakes District Council’s (QLDC) Alcohol-Free Areas in Public Places Bylaw 2018 was adopted by Councillors at a public meeting on 10 August 2023 and will come into effect today, on Monday 2 October 2023.

QLDC Alcohol Licensing Manager, Sian Swinney shared the purpose of the bylaw is to reduce the potential for alcohol related offensive behaviour and harm, and to promote and improve community health and safety.

“We believe the refreshed bylaw is a positive step forward for our community. It will help create a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone, and we are committed to ensuring the bylaw is implemented smoothly,” said Ms. Swinney.

The bylaw prohibits the possession and consumption of alcohol in specific public areas on dates and times within the Queenstown Lakes District. It also allows additional permanent and temporary alcohol-free periods to be established by Council for other public places, dates, and times, subject to meeting specific criteria.

The year-round alcohol-free times for Queenstown, Wānaka, Frankton, Arrowtown and Hāwea will continue in the bylaw, but the alcohol-free hours have changed to run from 6.00pm to 6.00am based on consultation feedback.

Specified public places in Queenstown and Wānaka will now be alcohol-free permanently on Christmas and Boxing Day, continuing through the 27 December to 6 January timeframe.

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This means the alcohol-free areas in Queenstown and Wānaka will now be from 6.00am on Christmas Day to 6.00am on January 6 the following year. Queenstown will also remain alcohol-free on Crate Day each year.

The reviewed bylaw has removed the Queenstown Winter Festival alcohol restrictions, as this is no longer an official event and Police do not consider there is evidence of disorder due to public drinking to support a ban.

Valuable input from the community not only helped shape the bylaw but further updated the language used within the bylaw, with ‘alcohol-free’ taking place of any previous mention of the word ‘ban’.

“It’s wonderful that our community came together to help shape these new alcohol restrictions laws. These bylaws reflect the values and concerns of our residents, and I’m thrilled to see us all working towards safer and more harmonious towns in our district that everyone can enjoy,” said Ms. Swinney.

The changes in the Alcohol-Free Areas in Public Places Bylaw 2018 come into effect on Monday 2 October 2023.

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