Tell us what you think about alcohol in your community
Is 3am too late for bars and nightclubs in the Gisborne district to be open?
Is it okay for liquor stores to be situated close to churches and schools?
Should the rules for selling liquor at sports clubs be different than the rules for selling alcohol in bars?
These are some of the questions Council will look at when it drafts its Local Alcohol Policy. To get a good understanding of what communities think about these matters Council is looking for feedback from a wide cross section of people and organisations in the district.
We ran 8 ‘Alcohol in the Community’ workshops in May and June, says healthy living team leader Judith Robertson. “They were well attended and a lot of really helpful information was collected. Representatives from the police, health and social service organisations attended as well as licence holders and community members. Some told the meeting that some communities have real issues with the way people use alcohol whilst other said that alcohol sales were well managed.”
“We would like to hear from more of the general public. Our Local Alcohol Policy will need to balance the views of those trying to manage the negative effects of alcohol with those that want to preserve their right to drink alcohol when and where they see fit. The views of the businesses tourism interests are also important.”
A survey about how alcohol is sold and supplied has been sent to community groups and is available on our website. “The wider range of people who complete the survey the wider range of views we can consider when drafting the policy,” added Ms Robertson.
Council is doing this work after the government passed the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The Act allows councils throughout New Zealand to develop a ‘Local Alcohol Policy’. The aim is for alcohol to be sold, supplied and drunk safely and responsibly - and the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol minimised.
The policy can relate only to licensing matters in the Gisborne district. It will have to be considered when a licence is issued. Through the policy the Gisborne community could limit the location of bars and liquor stores, limit how many licences are issued in a particular area, impose conditions on bars or liquor shops such as a “one-way door” condition, restrict or extend the opening hours.
The survey can be completed and returned to Council by 10 July 2013.
The information collected will be collated and help Council draft the policy. A summary of the results will be available on our website by 8 August 2013. The draft policy will be formally consulted on later this year after which Council will make a final decision on it.