Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

RWC liquor bans get big tick from public

Fans felt safer in areas such as the Wynyard Quarter during the Rugby World Cup because of liquor bans. Photo / Natalie Slade
Fans felt safer in areas such as the Wynyard Quarter during the Rugby World Cup because of liquor bans. Photo / Natalie Slade

Temporary liquor bans on Auckland's public transport and in fan zones during last year's Rugby World Cup made most people feel safer, says an Auckland Council survey.

The survey of 1975 people during the tournament showed the value of the bans called for by police to reduce disorderly behaviour.

But one in five saw disorderly behaviour on the Fan Trail from downtown Auckland to Eden Park, and a third noted it at the city's waterfront venues, though mostly after dark.

Eight out of 10 respondents felt safe travelling on public transport at night.

The survey results released yesterday pointed to further bans for Auckland's major events, said council regulatory and bylaws committee chairman Des Morrison.

"We are learning from the Rugby World Cup and we are looking to do it better for the World Masters Games in 2017, where 25,000 competitors are expected."

The area commander for Central Auckland police, Inspector Andrew Coster, is seeking a permanent extension of the CBD liquor ban area into Wynyard Quarter, saying the RWC temporary ban succeeded in combating "pre-loading" - drinking liquor bought from off-licences before going on to bars and clubs.

A council staff report said reducing pre-loading had cut the incidence of violent and aggressive behaviour.

The report said public perceptions of the World Cup temporary bans were positive.

Visitors felt the ban had been enforced effectively on public transport, at the fan zones and the fan trail.

Liquor ban checkpoints were adequately manned and liquor confiscated.

Manurewa area commander Inspector Richard Wilkey attended yesterday's committee meeting, which approved bans for nine parks and reserves in Wiri, near the Pacific Events Centre.

It was hoped to stop youths as young as 15 years from drinking in groups and fighting.

- NZ Herald

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