Reducing harm from alcohol in Kāpiti – research to uncover issues
Kāpiti Coast District Council has started work to explore whether a Local Alcohol Policy for Kāpiti could reduce alcohol related harm in the community.
Local Alcohol Policies are commonly used by councils to better manage the sale and supply of alcohol in communities. A Local Alcohol Policy can specify things like how far licenced premises can be from public facilities, how many types of licences can be issued in the district, and hours of trading.
A Local Alcohol Policy could set different rules in different areas to reflect each community’s views, character, needs and values.
Group Manager for Strategy, Growth and Recovery Natasha Tod says the negative impacts of alcohol have been a long-standing concern in the community. The results and impacts of binge drinking, public intoxication and addiction are of particular worry.
“While lots of people do use alcohol responsibly we have heard many times over the years from the community, the Police and our health partners that alcohol is causing enough problems to warrant Council exploring steps to reduce harm,” Ms Tod says.
“The harms and costs of alcohol are met by the local community. A Local Alcohol Policy could help reduce these social and financial costs and that is what we’ll be exploring in the next few months.”
Developing a Local Alcohol Policy for Kāpiti will be done in several phases set out in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
Phase one will be to work with Regional Public Health and Police to develop a research report to identify alcohol issues, present the community’s views on alcohol and the licensing controls available, and assess if a Local Alcohol Policy would be beneficial for Kāpiti. The research report will be prepared in the second part of 2021 and will involve community input.
Councillors will then consider the report and if a Policy is agreed as an appropriate approach to the issue, it will be developed and released for public consultation in 2022.
According to Alcohol Healthwatch over 60 per cent of New Zealand councils have Local Alcohol Policies, with more going through the process.
“This is not a particularly fast process and we expect it to take between two and three years to complete,” Ms Tod says. “If we go ahead with a Local Alcohol Policy, once it is in place the licensing body must consider it when making decisions about licensing applications.”
Visit kapiticoast.govt.nz/local-alcohol-policy to find more information.