Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association has labelled a proposed liquor ban a "lazy, dangerous and irresponsible band-aid on an issue that is much larger".

Wellington City Council has today heard oral submissions on a ban at Kelburn Park which is considered a favourite drinking spot among students as they make their way from halls of residence into the capital's nightlife.

In the same hearing Victoria University revealed more details about a review into alcohol practices in its halls, although it's been pushed back six months due to "staffing issues".

Students made 400 submissions on the liquor ban, the majority against it.


In total WCC received 500 written submissions, including from residents complaining of students "yelling, urinating and vomiting" in the park, and leaving behind empty cans and glass bottles.

Vuwsa president Tamatha Paul told councillors at the oral hearing a ban would just move the problem elsewhere.

"Into, perhaps, the Botanic Gardens where we know is much more dangerous, there's no lighting there, very low visibility, from the outside you can't see what's going on."

She pointed out the issue was about young people drinking rather than specifically students.

"Let's be clear there are a lot of people that live in Kelburn that aren't necessary enrolled in any tertiary institutions."

A fountain at Kelburn Park is a favourite drinking spot among students. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
A fountain at Kelburn Park is a favourite drinking spot among students. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

The issue is a long-running one spanning years with previous Vuwsa presidents confirming to Paul the issue reared its head during their terms as well.

"We need to just stop wasting ratepayers money and revisiting the problem and actually just deal with the problem, the bylaw is not going to do that.

"We need to be working with the university, with the residents, and with halls of residence in particular, to make sure that we have solution that is good for everybody in the community", Paul said.


Ideally, halls of residence would move their drinking kick-out times from 10pm to midnight and make dining rooms designated drinking areas, Paul said.

"The reason students don't go straight from the hall into town at 10pm is because the clubs are dead at that time."

Student and campus living director Rainsforth Dix confirmed the university's position against the ban and told councillors student behaviour had improved considerably over the years.

When asked about litter, Dix said sporting events held at the park also contributed to the problem and suggested more recycling and rubbish bins would help.

She said a piece of work reviewing alcohol practice in halls of residence has been briefed.

That review will include the 10pm kick-out time and consider things like upping alcohol-free room allocations and where students are permitted to drink.

Earlier this year Dix said the review would be completed by the first trimester but it's now expected to be done by the end of the year due to staffing issues.

Key findings will be implemented for the 2020 academic year across all halls the university operates.