A 24-hour liquor ban in Te Puke can only be a good thing.
This week councillors on the Western Bay of Plenty District Council policy and strategy committee unanimously voted to impose the 24/7 year-round ban in the township. The ban was expected to be ratified by the full council this month and come into effect in October.
The proposed ban would cover problem areas such as the seats at the end of the Countdown carpark, Jubilee Park and Memorial Hall.
People should be able to feel safe wandering around their town.
They should be able to go to the park or get their groceries without drunken people harassing them.
The liquor ban is unlikely to stop people from drinking in public places around town, but it gives the police the power to do something about it when they are causing trouble.
It will make the town a safer and more attractive place for both residents and visitors alike.
But for those who drink responsibly, it should have no effect.
I see no appeal in sitting on a bench at the end of a carpark to have a drink " I can't imagine a family agreeing to meet there for a picnic and a quiet glass of wine.
To me, sitting outside Memorial Hall is much the same.
In summer time there may be groups who gather in the park for a small get-together and who indulge in a glass or wine or a beer with their picnic. This ban is unlikely to change that, either.
While the police would have the power to fine you, they are unlikely to do so unless you are causing a nuisance.
So for those who drink responsibly, such a ban can only be positive. For most people, it will only make Te Puke a safer and more enjoyable place to be.