INDEPENDENT NEWS

Liquor Ban Proposal Needs Extension

Published: Thu 22 Jul 1999 12:41 AM
Liquor Ban Proposal Needs Extension
Yesterday the Government introduced legislation that will extend the power of local bodies to impose liquor bans in public places.
Hamilton West MP, Bob Simcock, has welcomed the legislation but says the proposed rules are too restrictive.
Mr Simcock who has been trying to get a liquor ban bill into Parliament for two years said today “that the bill is inadequate in its present form, but that it can be amended during the select committee process”.
“Currently the law allows bans to be imposed for up to twelve hours for a specific event or occasion. On that basis many of the bans that have been put in place in recent years are illegal” Mr Simcock said.
“The new law would give authority for bans on specific holidays, but the bans are still limited to twelve hours.”
“The people who have administered bans in the past have found the twelve hour rule to be most unhelpful and difficult to police.”
“When I visited Mt Maunganui Police they told me that they would like to impose a full-time ban for the summer holiday period. That would make it possible to set up a culture that works against drinking on the streets at that time. The current proposals won’t support that.”
“Parliament should give much broader powers to local government to establish liquor bans after consultation with their community. It is as if the Parliament is frightened to trust local government with these powers, but local communities are in a far better position to manage alcohol and public order problems at a local level”
“I hope the select committee will recommend significant amendments to the current bill” Mr Simcock said.
ENDS

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