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Council bans alcohol in Kilbirnie’s parks and streets, but not in Kelburn

News from Wellington City Council
Wellington City Councillors have adopted a plan to implement an alcohol ban in Kilbirnie following a review and public consultation – effective immediately.

An alcohol ban, which prohibits people from drinking or carrying alcohol in public places, currently covers the central business district, Oriental Bay, Mount Victoria Lookout, Mount Victoria West, Aro Valley, Central Park, Mount Cook and Newtown – and will now extend to the Kilbirnie Business Network area.

This means there is now a 24 hour, seven days a week ban on the consumption or possession of alcohol in public places in the area bordered by Mahora Street, Coutts Street, Childers Terrace, Evans Bay Parade, Rongotai Road. The ban also covers Kilbirnie Park.

The Council also agreed to work with the Kilbirnie community to manage alcohol related issues, including increasing the presence of Local Hosts, access to Meaningful Activities programmes, the support of more intentional outreach and tenancy services to address homelessness and those at risk of homelessness.

The move follows a month-long consultation process in which it asked people whether they wanted an alcohol ban in Kilbirnie and Kelburn.

Council received 499 submissions on the proposal: 97 responses to the Kilbirnie question, with 94 in favour of the ban, 3 against. There were 468 on Kelburn, with 88 in favour of the ban, and 380 against.

Social Development Portfolio Lead Councillor Brian Dawson says the local community of Kilbirnie voiced its concerns about public safety, and the Council listened.

“To introduce a ban we needed to be able to show a high level of alcohol related crime or disorder is occurring. Data from the Police shows there is a problem with anti-social behaviour attributed to drinking in the parks and streets of Kilbirnie. We’ve consulted with the community and worked closely with outreach organisations and police, and we’ve agreed to extend the alcohol ban to this area in response to the review and feedback.”

Councillors voted against implementing a ban in Kelburn Park, but agreed to Council leading a working group to address some of the concerns raised in this recent consultation.

“It will focus on the wider issues of health, safety and wellbeing and involve all relevant stakeholders including students, university and residents,” says Councillor Dawson.

Community Services Manager Jenny Rains says the alcohol ban in Kilbirnie will benefit the more vulnerable people in our community.

“An alcohol ban can be used as a tool by police to manage anti-social behaviour and address issues by giving them a measure of control. This also applies to non-regulatory options like our Local Hosts and outreach groups who can provide information and connections with the range of services available.”

• In 2018 the Council reviewed its existing Alcohol Control Bylaw, which bans the consumption or possession of alcohol in public places in Wellington Central Area, Oriental Bay, Mt Victoria Lookout, Mt Victoria West, Aro Valley, Central Park, Mount Cook and Newtown.

• The review found that having a bylaw to regulate the possession and consumption of alcohol in public places is the most appropriate option to address the problem of alcohol related anti-social behaviour and harm in public places.

• Kilbirnie and Kelburn Park were identified by submitters as areas of concern where they felt an alcohol ban was appropriate.

• In the period 2016-19 there were 409 reported incidents in Kilbirnie related to anti-social behaviour and harm.

• In the period 2016-19 there were 18 incidents reported in Kelburn Park related to anti-social behaviour, noise and litter.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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