Alcohol bans in Auckland are being watered down as the number of areas covered by prohibitions will drop by more than a half.
Auckland's 1630 areas where alcohol is banned will shrink to 726 from October 31 as a result of a review prompted by a requirement of the Local Government Act.
Auckland Council 15 local boards reviewed the bans in light of stricter national standards which meant none could continue without sufficient evidence.
Council regulatory and bylaws committee chairman Councillor Calum Penrose said the bans were put in place several years ago.
The aim was to keep public places safe and to discourage people from drinking alcohol in open areas and being disruptive.
Auckland residents were now familiar with the concept of alcohol bans and responded to this review by providing evidence to keep key bans in their local communities.
In order to keep a ban, evidence of alcohol-related crime or disorder specific to an existing ban area was needed.
Mr Penrose said 2000 submissions came from the community, giving the boards additional evidence of recent alcohol problems happening in the ban areas.
Historical data and police data was also used to finalise ban areas that could be retained under the new criteria.
The 726 alcohol bans to remain include:
• 508 existing alcohol ban areas, with no change in time or geographical area
• 173 existing now made into 93 larger alcohol ban areas, for example, a playground, or a car park in a park area becoming one large area covering whole park
• 118 existing alcohol bans that have had times and/or geographic boundary extended
• Seven new ban areas.
Mr Penrose said new bans could be imposed if there are high levels of alcohol-related crime or disorder.
The council also reviewed 14 bans on areas of regional significance including Maunga (volcanic cones) and regional facilities such as the Auckland Domain and Zoo. As a result, seven regional alcohol bans will lapse.
Ban areas will have signage. Maps of the areas are available on the council website.
Police will also have access to information on all alcohol ban areas which will assist them in monitoring any crime or disorder in these areas.
Drinking in any alcohol ban area is a breach of the bylaw and may incur a fine of $250.
Bans are meant to stop alcohol-related crime or disorder, such as broken glass and/or litter; inappropriate behaviour - people congregating in public places, drinking alcohol and being noisy and disruptive to neighbours and people drinking alcohol which leads to aggressive, intimidating or offensive behaviours towards others.
The regional alcohol bans under the Alcohol Control Bylaw 2014 that will be retained from October 31 are:
• Mangere Mountain - 24 hours/7 days
• Auckland Domain (park, sportfield, carpark and roads within domain) - 10pm to 7am daylight saving and 7pm to 7am outside daylight saving
• Auckland Zoological Park (including car park) - 10pm to 7am daylight saving and 7pm to 7am outside daylight saving
• Mount Eden - 10pm to 7am daylight saving and 7pm to 7am outside daylight saving
• One Tree Hill - 10pm to 7am daylight saving and 7pm to 7am outside daylight saving
• Mt Roskill/Winstone - 10pm to 7am daylight saving and 7pm to 7am outside daylight saving
• Auckland Domain (Auckland Domain area, car park areas, sportsfields and streets) - Christmas in the Park event from 4pm Friday before (rehearsal) to 8am the following Monday in case of contingency/bad weather.
The seven regional ban areas lapsed are: Mt Albert (and existing park areas), Mt St John (and existing park area), Pigeon Mountain, Mt Richmond (and existing park areas), Mt Wellington (and domain), Mt Hobson (and domain), Big King (and reserve).