Major booze bans proposed

By John Cousins

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Liquor bans in parts of Papamoa, Greerton and Brookfield are proposed in a crackdown on troublemakers.

Tauranga City Council wants to extend its permanent liquor ban to cover parts of Papamoa, Greerton Village Shopping Centre and Brookfield Shopping Centre.

The changes are going out for public consultation and include a ban on drinking alcohol along the entire length of beach fronting Papamoa Beach Rd between 9pm and 7am.

Permanent 24/7 bans were also proposed for Papamoa Domain, Taylor Reserve, Motiti Reserve, Harrison's Cut, Topaz Drive Reserve, Gordon Spratt Reserve, and Domain Rd and Gravatt Rd where they run beside Palm Beach Plaza and Fashion Island.

Mayor Stuart Crosby cautioned against the liquor ban along the whole coastal strip, saying he wanted to hear demonstrable evidence that it was necessary.

He believed the ban was only needed on the beaches beside the carparks.

Papamoa police Sergeant Phil Gillbanks said there were no identifiable areas but youths drank on the beach before spilling into town.

The problem was mainly in the summer when a lot of empty bottles were left lying around.

"There is evidence of disorder and parties that we have had to break up on the beach."

Mr Crosby, who has lived most of his life at Papamoa, said parties had been happening on the beach since the 1950s.

Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair said police did not arrest every person who broke the liquor ban but the bylaw was a tool.

He also urged the council to introduce the 24/7 liquor ban into the Brookfield Shopping Centre, including Lees Park and the roads radiating out from the shopping centre as far as Lynwood Place, Linley Terrace, Regent St, Sutherland Rd and Warwick Place.

Council strategic planner Jeremy Boase was concerned at how the liquor ban could be enforced when the council only owned road frontages and service lanes.

Police assured the council the retail owners of the carparks could impose liquor bans on their land.

Mr Wright-St Clair said there had been a significant increase in alcohol-related crime in the shopping centre including serious assaults and property crimes.

A few undesirable elements had moved in there including youth gangs.

The council also supported adding the Greerton Shopping Centre to the permanent liquor bans already in place in the Tauranga and Mount Maunganui downtowns.

It was responding to a strong call for help from retailers and Greerton Village School over problems with drunk people.

The Greerton ban would include the roads ringing the shopping centre and school, including Hayes Ave, Cornwall St, Pooles Rd, part of Mansels Rd and Mitchell St.


 

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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