Liquor ban plan for Wanaka foreshore

People who might enjoy a late-evening drink along Lake Wanaka's foreshore will be out of luck if a police proposal gets the backing of the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

This week Wanaka constable Mike Thomas presented the Wanaka Community Board with a proposal to change the boundaries of the liquor-ban area in the town.

The "minor changes" would bring into the liquor-ban area a long stretch of the Wanaka foreshore, as well as the Wanaka marina, yacht club and nearby Lismore Park and Eely Point reserves.

Constable Thomas told the meeting "occurrences" at the marina and in the reserves were predominately related to alcohol but police had no powers to remove alcohol from the public there.

The offences reported in these areas since December 2009 included offensive behaviour (2), consuming cannabis (1), wilful damage (6), threatening behaviour (1), theft from a car (1) and arson (1).

Wanaka Yacht Club commodore Geoff Dickie said he would be "watching closely" to see how the proposal might affect the club, but as the ban would apply from 10pm, except on certain occasions, he considered it "shouldn't" concern them.

"We are fairly cautious and we don't generally have much going on in the public area. We're too busy sailing."

Mr Dickie was interested to know whether the ban would apply "on the water" or just "on the hard".

"It certainly needs to be talked about."

The changes would also affect the New Year practice of people carrying and consuming alcohol as they walked along Lakeside Dr.

Constable Thomas said the size of the area covered by the ban would not increase because the proposal took the Wanaka golf course and Meadowstone and Stone St residential areas out of the liquor-ban area, as they did not feature in offending related to alcohol.

Since the bylaw was introduced on December 1, 2009, police had arrested 40 offenders.

Constable Thomas said, however, arrests were declining.

For the new boundaries to come into effect, the council would need to change its "control of liquor in public places" bylaw.


The proposal
The proposed "reallocation" of the liquor ban area would apply to:

• The whole of the Lake Wanaka foreshore from Sunrise Bay/Edgewater to Bremner Bay.
• The area from the foreshore to a boundary including McDougall and Tenby Sts, Stratford Tce, Ballantyne Rd, Macpherson St, State Highway 84, Anderson and Plantation Rds, Beaumont St, part of Lismore St and Beacon Point Rd and Lakeside Dr.


- mark.price@odt.co.nz