Fears ban will move problem

An inner-city Dunedin resident is concerned the extension of the liquor ban to North Dunedin will cause more problems in streets like hers - those that border the city centre, but fall outside the ban area.

The Dunedin City Council this week agreed to extend a central-city liquor ban to permanently include the North Dunedin student area.

The concerned resident had lived in her inner-city street for 16 years, but in the past few years she said she had experienced increasing problems with parties, particularly those in new student accommodation on the street, and with drunk people.

Last year, she said she had to clean up vomit, urine, rubbish, faeces, glass, broken furniture and blood from her property and outside it. She installed security lights and put a chain on her front door after drunks knocked on it looking for parties.

In one party-heavy month, she stayed elsewhere so she could get some sleep.

Complaints to police, the council, the landlord and property manager of the flats had not resolved the issue, she said.

She feared the same would happen this year, and if the liquor ban was extended to North Dunedin she was sure more people would come to streets like hers where there was no ban, but which were still in the city centre.

The problems, she noted, had increased after the University of Otago bought the Gardens Tavern in Castle St and shut it.

"I'm feeling terribly vulnerable in my own home. It is driving us insane, and driving us out of a house we love."

City council liquor licensing and projects officer Kevin Mechen said he had had correspondence with the woman, and her concerns were exactly those that needed to be included in submissions on the liquor ban.

He had received other correspondence asking why the ban should not be extended to cover the whole city, to stop problems being pushed from one neighbourhood to another.

The only way councillors would hear about concerns was if they read them in submissions, so people needed to make submissions, he said.

The public submission period for the proposal will begin on February 25 and end on March 26.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz


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