No decision on alcohol policy

The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is still to decide whether to develop a Local Alcohol Policy (Lap).

The authority had not yet formally considered whether to develop a policy, legal and regulatory manager Lee Webster said.

''We are still waiting for details from the police before the matter is considered at full council. Once we have the information from the police and some further clarification from the Ministry of Health I expect there will be a report to council,'' Mr Webster told The News this week.

The council had also consulted with licensees, the wider public and smaller groups ''who work with those affected by alcohol in our community'' to help it decide whether a Lap was appropriate for the district.

It had also considered results from an online survey launched in October that sought to gauge the community's opinions about alcohol.

Questions such as whether alcohol was too accessible, whether trading hours should be reduced and whether one-way door polices should be introduced were included in the survey.

The poll attracted 961 respondents, with the majority saying there was little negative impact linked to people drinking in the district.

Although 52% of respondents said they felt alcohol was a key contributor of family and domestic violence, results showed the majority felt it played little part in sexual violence, road accidents, anti-social behaviour or crime against property.

In November, Mayor Vanessa van Uden told the Otago Daily Times she was not surprised by the results and that the survey was ''nothing more than an information-gathering exercise''.

- by Cris Johnston 

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