A law change means it would be next to impossible for the
Dunedin City Council to introduce a liquor ban to curb student
mischief in the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
This comes after garden team leader Alan Matchett this week
said a crackdown on out-of-control drinking in North Dunedin
had pushed more student parties into the garden, leaving its
staff to clean up the mess.
Council liquor licensing co-ordinator Kevin Mechen said while
introducing a liquor ban in the garden would have been an
option for the council in the past, a law change introduced
last year made it much more difficult.
The amendment meant the council had to prove - using police
data - there were ''high levels'' of crime and disorder
''made worse by alcohol'' before introducing a liquor ban
after the law change, Mr Meechan said.
On top of that, the disorder could not be constrained to
certain times of the year, he said.
This meant a permanent North Dunedin liquor ban - which the
council was exploring last year - would most likely not be
This was because problems in North Dunedin, were largely
restricted to certain times of the year, for example
This was different from the old system where ''if the
community wanted it, you could put it in place''.
He was unsure why Parliament passed the amendment to the
Local Government Act which made it tougher for councils.
''Right through the country, we couldn't believe that this
amendment went through.''
Councillors spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday were
cool to the idea of introducing a liquor ban in the gardens,
saying it would punish responsible drinkers.
Cr Richard Thomson said such a liquor ban would punish
families ''who decide to have a picnic in the upper gardens
and have a glass of wine with it''.
However, he was not opposed to the issue being investigated
and was open to the idea of alcohol being banned after