Across New Plymouth District, there are a wide range of initiatives undertaken by the Council and other agencies that are contributing to minimising alcohol related harms, and promoting safer alcohol-related environments. Together, these initiatives and activities provide the Council and its partners with effective and efficient tools to make a difference across New Plymouth district.
Work published by the Ministry of Social Development in 2007 has identified a number of key community strengths in Taranaki, including:
These strengths are also evident in the current community responses to reduce alcohol related harms, which are described.
The following information was obtained from key informant interviews with representatives of the NPDC, and other agencies who work in partnership with the NPDC on a wide range of alcohol related issues. These examples demonstrate current practice, and intersectoral collaborative approaches to reducing alcohol related harms across New Plymouth District.
There are a variety of activities implemented by the Council and other agencies, particularly the Police, Fire and TDHB, to enhance compliance with licensing requirements and the SoLA. There are currently strong working relationships between the Council, Police and TDHB. Relationships between the Council and the Police are strengthened through the Police Liaison Working Party that meets every six weeks to discuss matters of mutual interest between the Police and the Council, including the implementation and monitoring of liquor bans, the management of alcohol at events and alcohol-related litter issues.
Inter-agency collaboration with the hospitality sector is enhanced through regular meetings of the Liquor Liaison Group. This group meets quarterly, and includes representatives from the DLA, Police, TDHB Public Health Services, emergency services, HANZ, trainers and licencees. The DLA also provides support to the hospitality sector by providing training sessions with Western Institute of Technology (WITT) and Pacific International Management School students, who are likely to work in licenced premises within the district. Annual 'DrinkSafe' workshops are jointly provided by the DLA, Police and Public Health Services from TDHB, and with support from other agencies, TDHB Health Promotion delivers professional door staff training annually.Return to top
New Plymouth is a World Health Organisation designated Safe Community, and has a range of strong community level initiatives that aim to reduce significant harms experienced by the community, (including alcohol related harms), and increase community safety and well being.
The region also has a well established Youth Access to Alcohol (YATA) group, which aims to encourage and support community action targeted at reducing the illegal and/or irresponsible supply of alcohol by adults to young people. YATA is a community committee, which runs projects and is designed to influence parents; young people; retailers of alcohol; and policy makers through a range of ways to achieve the overall project aim. Members of the YATA group include the three district territorial authorities, TDHB, Police, ACC, Te Puni Kokiri and the New Plymouth Safer Community Council. YATA activities have focused on social supply issues, through the 'Think Before You Buy Under 18s Drink' campaigns, and the development of 'Parent Pack' resources.
In addition to the campaigns supported by the YATA group, TDHB Health Promotion also implements a range of strategies to promote responsible attitudes towards alcohol use. These include environmental/population focused initiatives and community action projects such as:
ClubMark is an initiative led by Sport Taranaki, supported and funded by ACC, which targets high need sports clubs, and aims to enhance compliance with the SoLA, and strengthen and support club's knowledge of host responsibility requirements. Prior to the development of ClubMark, over one hundred sports clubs across the district had become involved with the ThinkSmart initiative, which aimed to increase responsible alcohol management at these venues, reduce access by minors to alcohol and challenge the link between youth, sport and alcohol. The YATA group has also provided support for the Clubmark intervention.
Increased access to public transport has been identified as an opportunity to reduce alcohol related harms. At present, public transport is limited to taxis late at night and in early morning. NPDC, Land Transport NZ and local taxi companies are currently working in partnership on issues relating to the number and location of taxi stands in the CBD. The most recent initiative was an agreement to use bus stops as taxi stops at night, as these tend to be close to large licenced premises. Return to top
The Police, DLA and TDHB Public Health Services undertake regular monitoring of licenced premises. Routine inspections are undertaken of premises when licences are initially granted, at renewal points, and random inspections are undertaken as required. Controlled Purchase Operations (CPOs) are also undertaken quarterly to monitor compliance with requesting age-verification identification and to reduce access to alcohol by young people.
Liquor bans are governed through the Council's Liquor Control Bylaw, which aims to enhance the safety of citizens, protect the public from nuisance and minimise the potential for offensive behaviour in public places by controlling the consumption and possession of liquor in specified public places. There are currently four Liquor Bans, encompassing the CBD, Oakura Beach, Urenui Domain, and Sir Victor Davies Park. Another liquor ban was trialled at Fitzroy beach over the past summer and was being evaluated at the time of writing this strategy. Any request for a liquor ban requires careful consideration of the crime and safety issues, and consideration of the range of solutions to a problem. Liquor bans are most effective when they are enforced and supported by other complementary strategies to reduce alcohol misuse and consumption in public places.
Within the district, licencees have supported various initiatives to encourage responsible consumption, and reduce the burden of alcohol related harms. For example, on nights where trading hours are extended, such as New Years Eve, licencees, as a condition of a special licence have a "One Way Door" policy is imposed from 3am, to reduce the migration of patrons to bars, which remain open. This also reduces the pressure on taxi services, which are overwhelmed when all the bars close at the same time and there is a high volume of demand for taxi services. Police, the DLA, TDHB Public Health Services and ACC are also working with licencees to implement the 'Get Into It Not Out Of It' intervention, which aims to educate the public that intoxication is not acceptable, and is illegal in licenced premises. A voluntary one way door policy also exists on Friday and Saturday nights from 2am, to counter the social disorder problems associated with bar migration.
New Plymouth District Council hosts a number of high profile community events, including WOMAD and concerts by various international artists, such as Motorhead and Elton John. Sale of alcohol is permitted at events and is controlled by a range of conditions under the requirements of a special licence. In partnership with event organisers, conditions are developed to limit the volume of alcohol that can be purchased at any one time, as well as the containers alcoholic drinks can be served in. When glass containers such as wine bottles can be purchased, at some events, patrons are incentivised to return and recycle glass bottles, to minimise the potential for glass related injuries and rubbish.
There are a range of tools, which support the reduction of alcohol related crime and other harms, including the implementation of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles. The application of CPTED principles provides a physical environment that can discourage anti-social behaviour around licenced premises, and enhance perceptions of safety and physical safety in a designated area. The Council where appropriate considers CPTED principles when developing high profile public open spaces. Additionally when required, the Council seeks advice from the police about specific facilities design projects, as well as engaging with the community.
In addition, CCTV cameras are located around the CBD, and are used by Police to identify potential high-risk incidents to ensure timely responses. The CCTV system was installed nine years ago, in consultation with the New Plymouth District Council and Safer Community Council with the intention of reducing crime and disorder in the CBD and followed concern that many members of the public no longer felt safe when visiting the city at night. Feedback from community members, Police and other stakeholders suggest that the use of CCTV cameras is a valuable component amongst a range of other strategies to address those concerns.
42 Ministry of Social Development. 2007. New Plymouth District LSM Community Report. Taranaki: Ministry of Social Development. Return to top