Alcohol ban in Te Puke town centre up for consultation

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A permanent alcohol ban in Te Puke's town centre is the key change in tighter alcohol control rules being proposed by Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

Public consultation on the council's draft Alcohol Control Bylaw is open from today until May 13.

The draft bylaw includes a proposal to place an alcohol ban in Te Puke's town centre, replicating what is already in place in Waihi Beach and Katikati.

Te Puke district councillor Kevin Marsh urged people to support the proposal for an alcohol ban in Te Puke.

In late 2015 Mr Marsh, the Te Puke Community Board and police asked the council to consider an alcohol free zone in Te Puke to enable greater control over excessive drinking and disorderly behaviour by a small core of offenders in the town.

Their request prompted a review of the district's Alcohol Control Bylaw.

The council believed there was enough evidence to justify a ban in all three townships after considering crime statistics from the police and following support from the majority of people who took part in a public online survey earlier this year.

Mr Marsh welcomed the proposed changes in the revised bylaw.

"Early support by businesses, local groups, the Community Board and police has been essential in getting this bylaw reviewed. It is now in the hands of the community.

"Te Puke is doing its best to become a shopping destination - so getting this disorderly element out of town is critical if our town wants to be appealing to visitors and residents alike.

"The bylaw gives the police greater power to stop this behaviour in our town."

Under the bylaw, anyone found to be in possession of, or consuming alcohol within one of the ban zones will be liable for a fine.

You can give feedback here or by visiting one of the council's libraries or service centres.

Have Your Say days will be held across the District from June 13. The council will consider all feedback received before it adopts the final bylaw, to come into effect on October 1.

Other issues included in the new bylaw include enabling temporary bans for specific events, clarifying the council's approach to BYO events and provision of exemptions for outdoor areas linked to a licensed premise or event within the alcohol ban areas.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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