Buskers, touts may be banned by bylaw

Leaflet-toting touts might be banned in the Queenstown Lakes area.

The district council has reviewed a bylaw which regulates certain activities in public places, including busking and commercial activity.

The proposed new bylaw, to be considered at Thursday's full council meeting, suggests prohibiting the distribution of leaflets, flyers and promotional material on public streets.

A report to the meeting said some promotional activities could obstruct pedestrian flow, increase litter and lead to offensive behaviour.

That included leaving promotional leaflets on vehicles.

The new bylaw's statement of proposal said: ‘‘Aggressive selling behaviours, sometimes referred to as ‘touting' and ‘canvassing', also subject other users of public places to unwanted and possibly aggressive behaviour.''

Leaflets could still be distributed within retail stores, with the consent of owners or occupiers.

The proposed bylaw also prohibits the consumption of mind-altering substances, such as glue and psychoactive substances, in public places.

A report to the meeting said such consumption could lead to antisocial and nuisance behaviour and the ban was an ‘‘early intervention tool''.

There will be a permit regime for events, busking and commercial tours of licensed premises.

Events needed to be appropriately planned and managed, the report said.

Buskers would still be able to perform without a permit if they met certain basic conditions.

The council stubbed out suggestions it should ban smoking in public places and steered clear of regulating drones.

If the new bylaw is adopted, submissions will close on May 31 and hearings will be held by a subcommittee of councillors.

It would be expected to come into effect by the end of July.

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