11 February 2021
A 12-month alcohol ban for an area outside the current alcohol ban bylaw will be implemented following a Council decision this morning in response to increasing disorder and crime.
The ban, which will take effect in two weeks, was considered at an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council. A temporary ban can be implemented much more quickly than a permanent ban.
The areas where the proposed ban will take effect incorporates the Rotorua Community Youth Centre, Marist St Michael’s and Shambles Theatre reserves, and adjacent Council sites, where alcohol-related crime and disorder is regularly occurring and has increased significantly during recent months.
The ban is supported by the organisations affected and by police.
Meeting chair Mayor Steve Chadwick described the temporary ban as a very positive move, but acknowledged the issue would not go away until the wider issues of housing and community safety were dealt with.
This was discussed extensively during an elected members’ Long-term Plan workshop yesterday (Wednesday 10 February) and a proposed strategy would be part of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan, the Mayor said.
In response to questions, Rotorua Police Senior Sergeant Karl Konlechner said the ban would provide a useful tool for police to move on people who were in possession of alcohol in the specified areas. People could then be arrested if they refused to move on, he said.
A report to the Council explains that existing tools have not been effective for dealing with the high and increasing level of alcohol-related crime and disorder in the areas that will be covered by the temporary ban. Behaviour of concern includes urinating, defecating, littering (broken bottles, aluminium cans, used hypodermic needles, general rubbish), disorderly behaviour (fighting, intimidation), drinking on site, damage to buildings and sleeping overnight.
Police are called to the areas in question at least 4 to 5 times per week to respond to disorder, antisocial behaviour and violence offences, all usually alcohol related. Behaviour causing concern in these areas is considered to be under-reported.
The issue was raised with elected members during last week’s Operations & Monitoring Committee meeting when they agreed to an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council to enable them to consider the matter as quickly as possible.
The Rotorua District Alcohol Ban Bylaw 2018, authorises Temporary Alcohol Ban Areas by Council resolution. The intent of the bylaw is to reduce alcohol-related harm, damage, disorder and crime and improve community safety by implementing alcohol restrictions in some public places.
Permanent bans in place under the council bylaw including CBD and parks and reserves within the wider CBD but exclude the area where a temporary 12-month ban will now be put into place.
Council must give public notice of the ban not less than 14 days in advance and following that, must erect signage no less than 7 days prior to the ban taking effect and for the duration of the ban.
During the 12-month period an evaluation of the effectiveness will be completed and reported back to Council. One consideration will be whether the temporary bans should become permanent.
Click on the image below to view a larger map showing the areas to be covered by the temporary ban:
You can view the report to the Council on this matter HERE on Council’s website
View the presentation slides relating to this matter HERE on Council’s website
You can view the current Rotorua District Alcohol Ban Bylaw 2018 HERE on Council’s website
See public notice HERE on Council's website
From the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee . . .
The agenda for the scheduled meeting of the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee, which followed the extraordinary meeting of the Full Council today, included proposed speed limit reviews, the Rotorua Climate Action Plan, policies that will support the upcoming Long-term Plan, and lakes water supplies.
Speed limit reviews
The Committee is recommending that the Full Council approves going to community consultation on proposed speed limit changes on local roads, including outside rural schools in the district.
The review also proposes phasing out of 70km/h limits, in line with Waka Kotahi’s direction.
Council carries out reviews of speed limits every three years with external experts conducting the reviews on council’s behalf, in accordance with national rules and guidelines.
The recommendation will go to the Full Council for a final decision.
The report to the committee (p29 of the meeting agenda) includes a table outlining the proposed speed limit changes and the reasons for these.
View the presentation slides relating to this matter HERE on Council’s website.
Climate Action Plan
The committee recommends Council adopts the proposed Rotorua Climate Action Plan following consultation last September and October after previous engagement and consultation with key stakeholder groups to help shape a draft plan. Latest feedback and submissions have informed changes.
Strategy Development Manager Rosemary Viskovic outlined the process followed for the development of the plan, including most recent public consultation and the feedback received, noting that the topic was something that would need to be an ongoing conversation with sectors, key stakeholders and the wider community as things continued to change and evolve.
The recommendation will go to the Full Council for a final decision.
The report on this matter (p18 of the meeting agenda) outlines feedback and submissions received and changes made to the proposed plan as a result.
You can also view the presentation slides relating to this matter HERE on Council’s website.
Lakes water supplies
The committee will recommend to Council that it supports a Rotorua Lakes Community Board request for the inclusion in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan of a commitment to review and provide a report on options for a public water supply at Mourea and other un-reticulated lakeside communities.
Lakes Community Board chair Phill Thomass explained to the committee it was not a request to start reticulating currently un-reticulated areas but to put aside funding to enable investigations to take place including looking at potential water supply sources and costs for discussion with communities.
Infrastructure Group Manager Stavros Michael said the district’s reticulated supplies met all drinking water supply standards and the long term goal was to have all of the district on municipal supplies. There were still pockets of the district currently not on municipal supplies and the proposed infrastructure strategy that would be part of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan would include reticulation of all communities. Investigations would begin on adoption of the strategy, he told the committee.
The matter will go to the Full Council for a final decision.
The report on this matter is at p12 of the meeting agenda.
The committee will recommend that the Full Council notes policies to be published in conjunction with the Long-term Plan consultation document following its adoption.
See the report relating to this on p14 of the meeting agenda and view the presentation slides relating to this matter HERE on Council’s website.
The full agenda for the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee held today is HERE on Council’s website.
You can view additional documents relating to the items that were discussed HERE on Council’s website (scroll down to ‘attachments’ for Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee meeting)
Both of today’s meetings (Extraordinary Full Council Meeting and Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee meeting) were livestreamed and you can access the recordings via THIS LINK on Council’s website or by going directly to Council’s YouTube channel HERE