Car ban to keep the peace
Local authorities are hoping to curb anti-social behaviour at a central Auckland cemetery by imposing a ‘‘carfew’’.
Neighbours of Hillsborough Cemetery have been disturbed to find broken bottles left by people using the burial ground as a place to drink and socialise at night.
There have also been reports of people taking and dealing drugs in the cemetery.
Puketapapa Local Board member Michael Wood says the community is dismayed at the blatant disrespect of a sacred space.
‘‘What has been identified is that the major reason this is happening is because the cemetery is obscured from view,’’ he says.
‘‘People can easily come down Clifton Rd, which is the main road leading to the cemetery, and park there and wander off into the cemetery.’’
Under the proposed ‘‘carfew’’ parking on Clifton Rd between 10pm and 6am will be banned unless there is a legitimate reason.
Parking on Hillsborough Rd alongside the cemetery is already illegal.
‘‘It seems like a straightforward way of minimising the opportunity for those anti-social behaviours,’’ Mr Wood says.
‘‘We know it’s not a perfect solution and there are other areas that suffer from this kind of activity, but there was a particular issue in this case because it is a cemetery and there should be some sensitivity to the fact that it’s a special place for people who have relatives buried there.’’
The board has approved the novel solution and is waiting on the final tick-off from Auckland Transport. The Traffic Control Committee will decide about the bylaw in upcoming months.
Auckland Transport is discussing with police how it will be enforced.
Mr Wood says the board hopes to have the carfew in by summer.
‘‘From talking to local residents it is a problem that happens in warmer months,’’ he says.
‘‘People don’t get out of their cars and wander into a freezing cemetery in the middle of winter.
‘‘But we definitely want it up and running in those warmer months.’’