Dunedin city councillors have voted not to impose a liquor
ban in North Dunedin, while heaping praise on the process
that led to the decision.
The move came at a full Dunedin City Council meeting
yesterday, as councillors voted unanimously to maintain the
central city liquor ban while granting students in North
Dunedin a reprieve.
In early 2012, after multiple disorder and safety issues
concerning student street parties, including the Hyde St keg
party, the council consulted publicly on a proposal to extend
the central city liquor ban to North Dunedin.
After hearing submissions, including those from students
opposed to a ban, the liquor bylaw hearings subcommittee met
interested parties for further discussions.
Last week, it recommended the council instead concentrate on
the ''collaborative approach being developed by key
stakeholders'' to address alcohol-related issues in North
Dunedin and the city.
Councillors yesterday endorsed the recommendation, while
allowing further consideration of extending the central city
liquor ban to include neighbouring streets.
That was designed to take into account the displacement of
drinking in public places to nearby areas outside the liquor
Cr Colin Weatherall, chairman of the subcommittee considering
the liquor ban, yesterday said co-operation with key parties
had been ''immense''.
That included the university, the Otago University and Otago
Polytechnic students' associations, police and Public Health
South, who all participated in meetings with the council,
chaired by Cr Kate Wilson.
A staff report to yesterday's meeting said there was now
''growing momentum'' to address problems with excessive
alcohol consumption in North Dunedin and across the city, in
a collaborative way.
Discussions were turning to strategies that could reduce
alcohol-related harm across the city, the report said.
Cr Weatherall told yesterday's meeting the city might still
face ''the odd fire or challenge'', but the co-operative
approach was something the city could be proud of.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull agreed, saying the co-operation had
forged new partnerships and led to a ''very positive
The staff report noted alcohol problems in North Dunedin
tended to be isolated to the beginning of the year and
irregular times through the year.
Changes to be introduced through the Local Government
(Alcohol Reform) Amendment Act were also likely to make it
difficult to justify an extension, the report said.
Under the amendments, alcohol control bylaws would have to be
justified by crime data, but police data showed
alcohol-related offending was declining in the area that was
to be covered by the North Dunedin liquor ban.
''The available information does not support the introduction
of a liquor restriction under the new regime.'' the report