Editorial: Parking ban good call in drunk zone

By Andrew Austin

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There is nothing worse than being caught in the middle of a drunken crowd when you are trying to go out for a nice quite meal with friends.

Unfortunately drunken behaviour at night is a given in many cities around the world. If you have a cluster of bars and restaurants, you are bound to get some people who don't know how to behave.

Auckland's Queen St is a case in point and there were times during my 10 years of working in the CBD when I was astounded by the drunken state of some people as I left work late at night.

The scenes in Auckland on the opening night of last year's Rugby World Cup were particularly bad with some very young people under the influence of alcohol.

Today's front page lead is about the Napier City Council looking set to adopt a report recommending a ban of late-night and early morning parking on Ahuriri's West Quay wharf. The reason is to curb drunken behaviour which tends to get out of control in the area at night.

The council's regulatory committee has accepted the report, but the full council will have to give it the final tick at a meeting on October 30.

The proposal is for parking to be banned in the area from 11pm-5am on Friday and Saturday nights. Councillor Mark Herbert, who lives in the area, says people already "tanked-up" arrive late at night and sit in their vehicles, drinking alcohol. The evidence is quickly hidden when police patrols pass by, but it is party time again when they go.

As you can only imagine, the area is a mess in the morning and the council's cleaning staff have to work hard to ensure the area is suitable for those wishing to have a lazy Sunday breakfast in the area.

It is good to see the council taking decisive action on what is clearly quite a problem. It is the same old story where a few irresponsible drunks ruin things for the rest of us.

Unfortunately it is often the younger members of society.

The problem with parking bans and alcohol bans is that those responsible for the problems simply move on to another spot, but in this instance it seems the right thing to do. This is a popular hospitality hotspot in the city and it needs to be protected.

We want the majority of people to want to go out to these areas without the evening being spoiled by a selfish minority.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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