Community feedback shows support for greater alcohol controls, but more data needed
A survey to gather community insight about developing a local alcohol policy for Kāpiti has shown broad support for the introduction of additional controls on the sale and supply of alcohol in the district.
Kāpiti Coast District Council started work last year to explore whether a local alcohol policy 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. They can specify things like how far licensed premises can be from public facilities, how many licences can be issued in the district, and hours of trading.
The survey conducted in late 2021 garnered 415 responses and showed there is overall support for stronger measures to manage the sale and supply of alcohol in Kāpiti.
The negative impacts of alcohol have been a long-standing concern in the community with particular concern around the impacts of alcohol abuse, public intoxication, family harm, motor accidents and addiction.
Group Manager for Strategy, Growth and Recovery Natasha Tod says the survey results are one piece of the puzzle needed to inform a potential policy.
“The survey showed broad support for some stronger rules around things like the number of licences in some areas and for shorter opening times,” Ms Tod says.
“Feedback also showed there is a real concern about the impact alcohol is having on rangatahi and families in some parts of the district.
“The survey has provided useful insights and information and we thank everyone who has contributed.”
Further data is needed to inform any potential policy.
Council is required to work with local Police and Regional Public Health to build a clear picture of the nature and severity of alcohol-related problems in the community.
“This information will include things like overall health indicators for Kāpiti and the impact alcohol could be playing in those,” Ms Tod says.
“With the introduction and spread of the Omicron variant into New Zealand our health partners have been dedicating their resources to responding to that, and rightly so.
“We had hoped to be able to present a draft policy in early 2022 but this timeframe will have to be amended - we cannot progress further without sound health data.
“We know this will be disappointing for some members of the community for whom alcohol-related problems are a concern. All local alcohol policies adopted by councils are subject to appeal. To present something without complete data would not be a recipe for success.”
Timing for future steps is not finalised.
“We hope to restart this work as soon as possible but are reliant on our partners having capacity to assist. We will provide further updates as we are able to.”
For more information and to see the survey results visit kapiticoast.govt.nz/local-alcohol-policy.