Officers at the Queenstown Lakes District Council are calling for a district-wide alcohol ban in public places for National Crate Day and have suggested extending daily alcohol ban periods to minimise harm and offensive behaviour.
About 300 people descended on Queenstown’s Village Green to celebrate Crate Day in December 2016, a promotion created by a radio station to celebrate the first weekend of summer.
While there were no arrests, the crowd left a huge mess for council contractors to clean up.
The council says disorderly behaviour by some people at the event led to police having to intervene and there were concerns from members of the public who did not feel safe.
The morning after the event, council officers said they saw a significant amount of alcohol-related litter left in the resort town.
QLDC Team Leader (Alcohol) Sian Swinney acknowledged today this was a key influence in the Regulatory team’s recommendations to elected councillors to be considered at a meeting later this week.
“The concerns raised by police and council officers demonstrate that the disorder on National Crate Day 2016 was worsened by alcohol consumption,” Swinney said.
“Extending the alcohol ban in public areas to apply over a 24-hour period is therefore an appropriate and proportionate response in the interests of public safety and protecting them from alcohol-related nuisance and offensive behaviour.
“And if the recommendation is ultimately adopted, people will still be able to enjoy a drink at home or in licensed premises.”
In addition to a district-wide alcohol ban in public places for National Crate Day, the report also recommended extending the current year-round alcohol ban period which applies to areas specified within the bylaw.
“The current ban period is from 10pm on any day through to 8am the following day. We are proposing that ban period starts two hours earlier from 8pm.
“We believe this will create an environment that feels safer for everyone to enjoy and will encourage people to either drink at home or in licensed premises where there are better controls on hand for disorderly behaviour, Swinney said.
The council was required to review its Alcohol Bylaw by the Local Government Act 2002. If the recommendations were adopted by councillors, a period of consultation would be publicly notified allowing the community at least a month to make a submission on the proposal.
An appointed hearings panel would be required to hear submissions and make a final recommendation to full council.
The council meets this week on Thursday.