Wellington City Councillors have asked their staff to reconsider saying no to liquor bans in Kelburn and Kilbirnie.
The councillors voted at Thursday’s City Strategy Meeting to adopt a new alcohol control policy, but added amendments during discussion for consultation to be done with people living in the two suburbs where residents have called for a liquor ban.
Council officers had found that bans weren’t required in either area, but work did need to be done to manage alcohol-related issues in Kilbirnie.
Their report also said the council should support Victoria University in managing student behaviour in Kelburn.
During the meeting a representative for the Victoria University Students Association, Matt Tucker, told the councillors that the association was happy to be part of the solution for how to deal with loud and drunk students living in the surburb, many in university halls.
Councillor Brian Lawson said the university had banned drinking on its sites and so Kelburn Park had become a holding pen for students who had been drinking in hostels, but had to leave at 10.00pm.
Mayor Justin Lester said he was worried the university was pushing drunk students on to the council.
“There is a safe place for students to hang out and enjoy themselves before they want to go into town and that’s in their hostels.”
Councillor Iona Pannett opposed increasing the city’s liquor ban area, saying while alcohol caused harm, bans would not be needed if there was a “mature and adult approach to booze”.
Ms Pannett said liquor bans did not work – they simply moved the problem on without solving the problem of anti-social behaviour, and it was bad public policy.
Councillor Simon Woolf responded, saying he completely disagreed and that consultation with communities gave them the opportunity to tell the council what they wanted for their suburbs.
Woolf said the council needed to take a stronger line against drunken behaviour in public spaces.