John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

New Year's Eve review sees Mount Maunganui's summer holidays public booze ban extended

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Mount Maunganui's peak summer liquor-free zone has been extended, with the additional area shown in yellow.
Mount Maunganui's peak summer liquor-free zone has been extended, with the additional area shown in yellow.

A much bigger chunk of Mount Maunganui has been made off-limits to summer holiday revellers wanting to booze in public places.

Police backed the plan to double the commercial and residential areas covered by the peak summer liquor-free zone.

The Boxing Day to January 6 restriction on carrying and drinking alcohol in public places has been extended to a new line drawn across the isthmus following Hull Rd and Tweed St. The line used to take a line that mainly followed Grove Ave, with a small dogleg to Puriri St.

Enlarging the temporary liquor-free zone was the key outcome of the review into New Year's Eve, together with overall operations during the most hectic 12 days of the year at Mount Maunganui North.

The Tauranga City Council was persuaded by a letter dated September 5 from Western Bay's police area commander Inspector Ian Paxton.

Mr Paxton said police identified significant alcohol and disorder issues during the New Year's event of 2015-16.

Young people pre-loaded with alcohol in public places just outside the liquor-free area, leaving police with little ability to take preventative measures to control the consumption of liquor and intoxication.

"This led to incidents of disorder that required significant police resources to monitor and resolve on the night."

Mr Paxton said extending the boundary to Hull Rd and Tweed St would cover key risk areas including the park-and-ride site and Blake Park. There was also a clear delineation point for advertising the liquor-free area and enforcement.

A report to this week's council meeting by the acting manager of strategic and city events Jenna Quay said the bigger zone would also cover the planned extended temporary road closures for New Year's Eve.

Details would be disclosed through the standard process which the council used for temporary road closures.

She said police and the New Year's Eve project team believed that the bigger area would benefit the community and visitors, and support efforts for a safe and successful New Year period.

Residents of the affected streets would be notified by letter, with signs going up throughout the area.

Councillors were told it would not impact on public events within the zone that permitted the consumption of alcohol.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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