Whanau Cen­tre ap­peals pol­icy

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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