Whanau Centre appeals policy
Porirua Whanau Centre has appealed Porirua City Council’s Local Alcohol Policy, saying it doesn’t go far enough.
The council confirmed last week there had been five appeals to the policy, which many councils around the country are adopting.
It serves to reform the way alcohol is sold and supplied in the community, giving greater control to councils.
Porirua’s Local Alcohol Policy looked at restricting the sale of alcohol at pubs, clubs, supermarkets and grocery stores and received more than 200 submissions during the consultation period last year.
One, from the Porirua Whanau Centre, based in Cannons Creek, included more than 500 signatures to support the centre’s assertion that the suburb be designated a ‘‘sensitive site’’.
Porirua Whanau Centre chief executive Liz Kelly said it was unreasonable for the council to ignore the community’s voice, especially when a solution to mitigate the harm caused by alcohol had been suggested.
‘‘ The policy ignores that Cannons Creek is particularly vulnerable to abuse from alcohol. The community as a whole has taken positive steps to address these issues,’’ she said.
Creating a sensitive site would provide clarity for applicants and council inspectors, she said.
Kapi-Mana News understands one of the other appeals has come from Regional Public Health, but David Rolfe, the council’s general manager of environment and regulatory services, would not confirm who had appealed.
It would take Porirua City Council up to four months to go before the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority, with about 20 councils around New Zealand going through the process.
An appeal to Tasman District Council could provide significant case law, Rolfe said.
‘‘There is a delay and we’re in a queue, but we get the feeling some of the appeals might be dropped when decisions start to be made with other councils,’’ he said.
‘‘There are extremes in every community of those who want prohibition and others who want total freedom, and it’s important we have a policy that balances it all.’’
Rolfe said the council did need to have lawyers representing it during the appeal process, but it was difficult to estimate costs.