Home' The Mirror Queenstown Lakes : August 29th 2012 Contents 6
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We look forward to marking this major milestone with a
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70 The Mall PO Box 202
Oturehua Lodge 74 Lockhart Road
To be Auctioned on site
Friday 14th Sept at 2.00pm
Your Invitation to view
Open Day Saturday 1st September
at 2pm or by Appointment.
Light touch on alcohol bill
By BROOKE GARDINER Local changes
If enacted, the Alcohol Reform Bill will see the establishment of:
-- Local Alcohol Policies enabling districts to set the rules for their
-- District Licensing Committees of three people chaired by a local
councillor. Appointed members must have relevant experience in
licensing but cannot be involved in the alcohol industry, a police or
medical officer, inspector or employee of the council.
What does it mean?
Local councils will have the power to set new rules regarding alcohol
sale and consumption in their districts under the proposed Alcohol
Reform Bill. Included in the proposed changes are Local Alcohol
Policies which will enable councils to consider issues such as trading
hours and 24-hour licensing, concentration and location of licences
and liquor bans.
Queenstown Lakes authorities
are taking a proactive approach
to the anticipated introduction
of new local alcohol policies.
Under the proposed Alcohol
Reform Bill councils will have
responsibility for drafting and
administering alcohol policies
for their communities and will
have just 12 months to introduce
them if the bill is passed.
Queenstown Lakes District
Councillor Cath Gilmour said
the bill had the potential to
divide the community.
''We have a lot of bars in a small
area and a strong industry to
lobby, as well as strong com-
But, a series of workshops held
over a year ago to gauge
community opinion had left her
feeling confident the community
would be able to come to an
''There was goodwill.
''If we continue with that kind of
approach we can get a result.''
Councils around the country
have been advised to get started
on their alcohol policies even
though the bill hasn't been
passed, because in most cases
they will require a large amount
of time-consuming work.
Lakes Environmental corporate
and regulatory services man-
ager Lee Webster said he met
with police in June to get
Any decisions to instate a liquor
ban, for example, would require
the council to produce specific
data proving there was a high
level of offending, risk or
potential harm to public health
within that area, he said.
Anecdotal evidence would not
As a result, Queenstown police
have been gathering compre-
hensive data to support any
Queenstown police intelligence
officer constable Sean Drader
said police constantly collected
data but their information had
to be translated to fit the
specifics required under the
Mayor Vanessa van Uden said
that with a huge number of
liquor licences under its juris-
diction, the council had a bigger
job ahead than other districts
and she wanted to get it right.
Drunks not as
bad as expected
Fun: A good time partying in Queenstown at New Year's in
2005. Doctors at Lakes District Hospital are surprised by the
small number of admissions of intoxicated patients
Staff at Lakes Dis-
trict Hospital deal
with their fair share
of intoxicated pa-
tients but are sur-
prised how few are
James Reid, who has
worked at the hos-
pital for 10 years,
said the number of
drunk people com-
ing through the
doors had surprised
him and other medi-
cal staff, especially
those who arrived
from other centres.
''It's not quite in proportion with
what you'd expect in a party town.
I've always been surprised and
thought there'd be more,'' he said.
Some of that could be attributed to
the good work of police and
ambulance staff who deal with a
large number of intoxicated and
injured people themselves, Mr Reid
The hospital's location, 7km from
Queenstown's bustling party scene,
could also be another reason the
hospital sees fewer alcohol related
admissions than it might if it was
Some patients could be seeking
medical services the next day from
more centrally located GP practices,
However, just because there were
fewer than one might expect, Mr
Reid said there were still cases that
''I don't want to say it's not a
problem. We do see people with
alcohol poisoning and people injured
or injured by others who are
''At times I've seen people and I've
been really quite stunned about how
much they've drunk and that they're
still talking to me.''
The hospital dealt with a ''steady
stream'' of alcohol related issues and
while some drunks were friendly,
others were obnoxious and so
intoxicated their personality was
altered, he said.
''We certainly get people who have
been in fights, people who have done
crazy things like fallen and jumped
off things, things they wouldn't have
done if they were sober.''
Anecdotally, most of the patients
treated were visitors who had been
drinking in bars, he said.
The hospital was now collecting data
from all patients, including for
example those injured on the
mountain during the day, so it could
better understand the impact of
alcohol on health in the area, he said.
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