Group tack­les com­mu­nity hall drink­ing

Western Leader - - EDUCATION - AMY BAKER

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 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.

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 Hen­der­son-Massey Lo­cal Board meet­ing. A min­i­mum age of 18 is re­quired to book a venue.

An al­co­hol spe­cial li­cence is not needed for pri­vate fam­ily events in a hired venue, where guests bring their own al­co­hol.

Other lo­ca­tions in west Auck­land which had is­sues with BYO were Hen­der­son, Te Atatu¯ Penin­sula and Kel­ston.

DANIELLE CLENT/ STUFF

Two in­ci­dences were recorded at Sun­der­land Lounge ear­lier in the year.

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