QUEENSTOWN PUSHES FOR BOOZE BAN

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is pushing for a total ban on alcohol on the streets of the popular resort town, brought about by antisocial behaviour last year. Of particular concern is ‘Crate Day’, celebrated on the first day of December, and the aftermath of Christmas in 2017.

Alcohol is currently banned in public areas between 10pm and 8am, which is extended to a complete ban between December 27 and January 6 – peak summer season – and during the Queenstown Winter Festival. Now, the Council is proposing that the year-round ban be brought forward by two hours to start at 8pm, with a complete ban on National Crate day.

In a submission in support of the change, the NZ Police included almost 60 photos which they said showed the results of lax alcohol bans.  They submitted images of drunk partygoers passed out in human excrement, hundreds of people drinking on Queenstown Bay beach and the mass of bottles left behind after large events. Sergeant Tracy Haggart said the public areas were in danger of becoming the “largest garden bars.”

“Afterwards what is left is broken glass on the reserve and a huge mess, and intoxicated or highly influenced people then wandering round the CBD trying to get into bars and loitering.”

Public submission on the bill have been mixed, with some claiming that having a beer and watching the sun set is “a Queenstown institution” which will not be possible if the ban is brought forward by two hours.