Sense prevails in Wellington

Dom Post reports:

Twin backing from Wellington’s mayor and police was not enough to see a city-wide liquor ban in the city, with strong public opposition prevailing.

Instead, the city council’s strategy and policy committee voted 9-6 yesterday to extend the booze ban – already in place in central Wellington, Aro Valley and the Mt Victoria lookout – only to Mt Cook and Newtown.

The council had considered the city-wide ban to curb drinking in public places, which can lead to aggressive and intimidatory behaviour.

The proposal sparked fears it was draconian and could see people arrested for enjoying a glass of wine at a picnic.

Exactly. It would have been illegal to crack open a bottle of bubbles in the picnic area at Otari Wilton Bush. The proposed ban was just the latest in draconian over-reach over .

A targeted ban in areas where there are problems is far more sensible.

Wellington police had backed it as being easier for the public to grasp.

“Police have indicated the focus of enforcement is on anti-social behaviour, and will largely be complaint-driven in suburban areas,” a council report said. ‘Although a possibility, it is unlikely that someone having a glass of wine with a picnic will be arrested.”

Possible but unlikely is not an acceptable threshold for me.

HOW THEY VOTED

For: Stephanie Cook, Jo Coughlan, Rob Goulden, John Morrison, Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Helene Ritchie.

Against: Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Ngaire Best, Andy Foster, Leonie Gill, Ian McKinnon, Iona Pannett, Bryan Pepperell, Celia Wade- Brown, Hayley Wain.

What unusual voting combinations.

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