Wellington City Council city-wide liquor ban

The Wellington City Council is intending to ban alcohol consumption or possession in public places across Wellington City. As part of this, the Police will have the right to search any vehicle or 'container' for alcohol in the entire city, without a warrant. 

The WCC's current bylaw is here: http://www.wellington.govt.nz/plans/bylaws/liquor-control.html

The bylaw is introduced pursuant to s147 of the Local Government Act 2002 - this section should be read together with this part of the bylaw as it contains relevant definitions and the situations when this bylaw control will not apply (particularly relating to the transportation of unopened liquor). Pursuant to s169 and s170 of the Local Government Act 2002, the Police can enforce this part of the bylaw.

Section 147 of the Local Government Act 2002 sets out the liquor controls. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0084/latest/DLM172980.html#DLM172980

Section 169 (alongside section 170) of the Local Government Act 2002 sets out the powers of arrest, search and seizure. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0084/latest/DLM173433.html#DLM173433

The Police search powers allow them to search a vehicle or a container for alcohol in a public place. The person asked can then either let the Police search or they can leave the public place.

WCC wants to extend the liquor ban area to the entire city. As discussed, the idea of leaving the public place when it covers the entire city is nonsensical.

The idea that the council can just pass a law letting the Police arbitrarily search any vehicle or anything carried by anyone seems ridiculous to me. (And as a citizen, the idea that I can't have a glass of wine at a picnic at the Botanic Gardens also seems undesirable.) 

Deadline for submissions is 5th May. http://www.wellington.govt.nz/haveyoursay/publicinput/2010-03-liquor.html







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