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Local alcohol policy

What is a local alcohol policy?

A local alcohol policy will help to guide decisions by the District Licensing Committee about the following:

  • locations where alcohol can be sold and where we don’t want alcohol to be sold such as near schools and marae
  • opening and closing hours for places selling alcohol
  • conditions on selling alcohol such as having the right security systems

A local alcohol policy has to be reasonable and can’t set a blanket ban on alcohol sales. A policy also has to try to make sure:

  • selling, supplying and drinking alcohol is done in a safe and responsible way
  • we reduce the harm caused by abusing alcohol.

Why have a local alcohol policy for Tairāwhiti?

In 2013 Council wrote a paper about alcohol impacts in our community. The paper talks about community concerns about alcohol and about what research there is about the impacts of alcohol in Tairawhiti [PDF, 2.9 MB].

The main points from the paper are:

  • Alcohol is a big factor in at half of deaths in people under age 24
  • Alcohol plays a role in at least 30% of people visiting emergency departments (ED) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • Alcohol-related injuries in Gisborne (2534.4 for every 10,000 people) are almost equal to the national figure (2537.5 for every 10,000 people) and up to 60% of injury admissions to the emergency department are alcohol-related
  • Roughly 10% of assaults are alcohol-related
  • There was a 22% increase in police callouts for alcohol-related crimes from 2008 to 2012
  • Licensed events (such as Rhythm and Vines) contribute to our economy by over $4 million just in cash card transactions during the five-day period
  • The alcohol industry employs local people. In July 2013, 11 liquor stores in Gisborne employed 60 people and 33 grocery stores and supermarkets employ 430 people
  • Tourism New Zealand promotes Gisborne as one of the country’s 10 major wine-producing areas
  • Access to buying alcohol in Gisborne is high compared to other parts of New Zealand. In 2011, Gisborne District had 41 licensed premises for every 10,000 people compared to 34 for every 10,000 people for the rest of New Zealand.

While alcohol sale in our District has positive economic benefits (employment, events and tourism), Gisborne has high rates of alcohol-related injury and crime. We need to find the right balance. A local alcohol policy is one way that we can start to look at reducing alcohol harm.

In November, Council decided to prepare a draft local alcohol policy.

What’s the process for developing a local alcohol policy?

  • Draft Local Alcohol Policy developed - Council approved 10 April 2014
  • Consult the community on the draft Policy - Submissions 18 April - 19 May 2014, Hearing June 2014
  • Prepare a provisional Policy that takes into account consultation feedback - Council approved 18 September 2014
  • Release the provisional Policy (it is then open to appeal) - Appeal period 26 September - 24 October 2014
  • Mediation with those who made appeals - August - October 2015
  • Prepare an amended provisional Policy that takes into account mediation - Approved by ARLA 7 December 2015

This is where we are at now:

Open for submitters to appeal between 15 January - 4 March 2016

 What are the key documents?

A background paper about alcohol issues in Tairawhiti - alcohol discussion paper [PDF, 2.9 MB]

The first draft of the local alcohol policy - draft local alcohol policy [PDF, 111 KB]

The second draft that takes into account community feedback - provisional local alcohol policy [PDF, 106 KB]

The third and current draft that takes into account mediation with appellants: 
provisional local alcohol policy version 3 (clean copy) [PDF, 130 KB]

provisional local alcohol policy versions (tracked changes copy) [PDF, 93 KB]

Who can make an appeal at this stage of the process?

Only those who made a submission on the points of the draft Local Alcohol Policy that we want to change can make a submission at this stage. We have sent letters to all of those submitters letting them know about their right to appeal and the appeals process through ARLA.

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