More Control On Drinking BansLocal Government
The Minister of Local Government and Bay of Plenty MP Tony Ryall says the Government will look at adopting a private member's bill that will give local councils greater control over people drinking alcohol in public places.
Mr Ryall has asked his department to undertake an analysis of the proposed Liquor Ban Bill promoted by Hamilton West National MP Bob Simcock. If the Government decides to take over the bill, then its passage through Parliament in time for the millennium celebrations seems assured.
"Bob Simcock's bill offers a very sensible solution. It gives local communities the power to make arrangements they believe are most appropriate to control behaviour in their district. The current law is inadequate and local councils are asking for more flexibility," Mr Ryall said.
Mr Simcock will join Mr Ryall in Tauranga on Tuesday to meet with local mayors and police to discuss New Year's Eve at Mount Maunganui and the Simcock proposal.
The current law allows liquor bans only for special events and to a maximum of 12 hours. The Simcock Bill would enable councils to establish bans in specific places for a stated duration, after full consultation with the local community.
"Summer at the beach is a kiwi tradition. Some parents are already frightened to take their teenagers to the beach at Christmas and New Year.
"The community has zero tolerance for drunken louts, and we need to reclaim our beaches as it were.
"The eyes of the world will be on our millennium celebrations. Our national reputation would be sorely tested by television pictures of drunken louts behaving badly," said Mr Ryall.