No-shows included man who had not heard of Lap

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is urging submitters to confirm they will show up to draft local alcohol policy (Lap) hearings after nearly two-thirds of those who indicated they wanted to speak failed to appear this week.

Only 47 of the 131 people scheduled to speak actually attended, leaving a room full of councillors and staff waiting for good portions of the first three of seven scheduled days of hearings.

It became apparent on Thursday some people scheduled to speak were not aware they had made a submission, after staff made contact with a man in Hamilton who had not heard of the Lap, or even been to Dunedin recently, but admitted acquaintances might have filled in his name without his knowledge as a prank.

There had also been forms with supplied numbers and addresses that did not exist.

Submitters who indicated they wanted to speak were all contacted, some in multiple ways, but, for the first three days at least, if they were not heard from they remained on the schedule, in case they showed up.

Most of the no-shows were the ''purported signatories'' of some of the thousands of form submissions received, Mr Cull said.

Some excellent submissions, representing a variety of views, were presented this week, he said, and the no-shows would not affect how the councillors viewed the standard forms when it came to deliberations, as the committee would be working on the evidence, not giving weight to sheer numbers.

In order to avoid wasting more time, staff would once again try to contact and reconfirm with all submitters booked to speak over the remaining four days of hearings, but this time, if staff were unable to reconfirm the bookings, those submitters would be taken off the list.

All written submissions would still be considered and he asked any submitter who was not contacted for confirmation but who still wanted to speak to contact Lynne Robins on (03) 477-4000.

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