Liquor ban proposed for camp site

Ahuriri ward councillor Ross McRobie says the proposed temporary liquor ban at Loch Laird is a...
Ahuriri ward councillor Ross McRobie says the proposed temporary liquor ban at Loch Laird is a good outcome. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE
A temporary liquor ban is being considered to combat the ongoing problems at Loch Laird at Labour Weekend.

The ban is one of several ideas proposed by the Waitaki District Council this year, following nearly two decades of alcohol-fuelled ‘‘undesirable and unsafe’’ behaviour from young people at the Otematata camp site in the Waitaki Valley.

Other ideas include increasing the police presence and encouraging parents to take more responsibility.

Nearly 250 people attended the ‘‘unofficial’’ event each year, allegedly dropped off with alcohol from parents.

They caused a range of issues including broken glass, damaged toilet blocks, drunk teenagers vomiting and people attempting to drive.

Earlier this year, workshops began with Ahuriri Community Board members, councillors and local police officers. Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and police led the call for the liquor ban.

The workshops identified possible parking sites, more security staff and floodlights as additional options.

Ahuriri ward councillor Ross McRobie said the proposed ban proved the workshops were useful and created a good outcome.

The ban would be a ‘‘test’’ for the area and he believed it had never been trialled at Loch Laird before.

While it might create some disturbance, ‘‘it might show parents and people that we really are serious about protecting the people that go there’’, Cr McRobie said.

Mr Kircher said there were ‘‘absolutely’’ concerns the groups could move to another site.

‘‘There’s certainly misgivings around whether it will be effective or whether it will displace the young people from Loch Laird to somewhere else but we’ve been assured by police they will have a very good presence in the area and they’ll be well positioned to respond to changes like that,’’ he said.

Mr Kircher also called on parents to help with security.

It is expected the liquor ban would be brought to the council in August.


Pills and pot permissible ? Just anti alcohol ?




Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter