Group tackles community hall drinking
Auckland Police are working with Auckland Council to ensure venues are used responsibly after incidences with BYO at community halls.
A working group has been established in response to an increase in the number of public complaints regarding parties at community halls in West Auckland last year, Inspector Willie Fanene said.
Two incidents, in January and April 2017, were recorded at Sunderland Lounge in Hobsonville Point.
Issues included patrons staying past the midnight lockout time, drunk and disorderly behaviour.
Fanene said it was mainly around people in their late teens holding functions with little parental supervision, such as 16th birthday parties.
However, since police had started working with council on the issue, there have been no further incidents, he said.
Auckland Council manager community places Kevin Marriott said the working group was around a continuous programme of improvements.
Additional procedures had been put in place regarding the host in charge, such as requesting identification and making them aware of the responsibilities of serving alcohol.
Council staff also meet hosts on site before, during and after events.
The new online booking system was an ’additional channel’ rather than a replacement for inperson or phone booking system and had no fewer checks than other methods, Marriott said.
He said due to online booking, there had been an extra 2000 hours of use per month of community facilities - a positive outcome.
While increased patronage could potentially mean incidences of misuse might also rise, they remained a minority of cases overall, Marriott said.
Online booking and site visits came into effect in April 2016.
Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Lisa Whyte said she hadn’t been aware of any issues at Sunderland Lounge until it was brought up by Fanene at a local board meeting.
A minimum age of required to book a venue.
An alcohol special licence is not needed for private family events in a in a hired venue, where guests bring their own alcohol or the host supplies it for free. 18 is