Car ban to keep the peace

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

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.’’

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