The region’s first alcohol harm reduction strategy has been adopted by Auckland Council, reinforcing the proposed actions from the Mayor’s alcohol and community safety taskforce.
The strategy, adopted by the Regional Development and Operations Committee today, will guide the council toward a single approach to the management of alcohol in Auckland.
“Along with the actions identified with our new taskforce, this strategy will help us reduce alcohol-related harm in our communities and create a safe, healthy city where alcohol can be enjoyed, not abused,” says Len Brown.
The strategy will clarify how Auckland Council should work with government and non-governmental agencies, community organisations, the health and education sectors, NZ Police and the hospitality industry.
Both the strategy and the taskforce action plan look to balance responsible enjoyment of alcohol, the economic benefits of the hospitality and entertainment sector, while managing the social costs of alcohol.
The council is looking to increase public education and industry awareness of obligations, work in collaboration with public service agencies, engage communities in local solutions, and work closely with police on the enforcement of liquor bans and licence breaches.
The strategy will build the appropriate regulatory tools into the Unitary Plan and the council will continue to make submissions to central government on alcohol-related legislation.
The Mayor is urging the government to prioritise passing the Alcohol Reform Bill so Auckland Council and local communities can have more say over the number, location and opening hours of liquor outlets and the policies that regulate alcohol in their areas.
“The taskforce we’ve put together and the strategy we have adopted have very clear objectives. We’re aiming to curb anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol and make sure Auckland is a welcoming and safe environment for residents, workers and visitors,” says Len Brown.
“In order to succeed, we need the government to pass the Alcohol Reform Bill.”