The strategy is designed to reflect the type of community that the people of New Plymouth District would like to live in and the place that alcohol can have in this community. As a strategic document, the alcohol strategy provides guidance to Council for the management of alcohol related functions. It will also support and provide input into management documents such as the District Plan and Long-Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP). It is a key step towards achieving the New Plymouth district's community outcomes as outlined in the Council's LTCCP. Reducing the harms associated with alcohol misuse and promoting safer alcohol-related environments support the Council's strategic priorities and community outcomes of Connected, Prosperous, Secure and Healthy, Skilled, Together and Vibrant, but primarily relate to:
Under the Local Government Act 2002, Council's have a duty to promote the cultural, economic, environmental and social wellbeing of current and future generations. The mandate given to Councils under the act provides the basis upon which this strategy is developed
New Plymouth District Council can influence alcohol sale, supply and use in New Plymouth through a number of roles and responsibilities. These are:
Licensing agency: Under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, the Council has the status of a District Licensing Agency (DLA), responsible for issuing licences for the sale and supply of liquor, and certifying managers who are in control of licenced premises. The DLA also has responsibilities under the SOLA in working with other regulatory agencies including the Police, the Medical Officer of Health and Fire, to monitor licencees' compliance with the conditions of their licence and the requirements of the Sale of Liquor Act (SoLA).
Venue owner: Council owns a number of community facilities across the District, and is able to determine conditions and enforce compliance on the use of alcohol at these facilities
Employer: As one of the largest employers in the District, the Council is well placed to model leadership and good employer practices by promoting host responsibility.
Legislator: Bylaws are rules or regulations that are created by the Council to control specific activities within New Plymouth District. The part of the bylaw focusing on liquor control 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. This part of the bylaw is made under the Local Government Act 2002 sections 145 and 147 (2).
Facilitator: NPDC in collaboration with community groups and organisations will develop and implement community initiatives to reduce alcohol related harms.
Event promotion: NPDC also provides and supports a range of community functions and events, and can influence the use of alcohol at these events Together, these roles and responsibilities enable the Council to develop an integrated and coordinated approach to minimising alcohol related harms and promoting safer alcohol related environments within the district. Return to top
Working closely alongside the Council to support the minimisation of alcohol related harm in the community are the police, district health board and fire service. Their ability to influence the reduction of alcohol related harm in the community is set out in the following roles and responsibilities under the SOLA:
There are three key Acts that determine the planning, regulatory and enforcement functions of local government relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol: the Sale of Liquor Act (SoLA) 1989; the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991 and the Local Government Act (LGA) 2002. These form legislative mandate for local authority roles and responsibilities related to alcohol. The key points of each Act are summarised as follows:
At the national policy level, the Government's approach to reducing harm from alcohol (and tobacco and other drugs) is described in the National Drug Policy 2007-2012 (NDP 2007-12).34 Building on the first National Drug Policy, the NDP 2007-12 acknowledges that drug policy is a complex area that requires input and participation from a wide range of agencies and partners, including local authorities. The overarching goal of the National Drug Policy is to prevent and reduce the health, social and economic harms that are linked to tobacco, alcohol, illegal and other drug use. Reducing harm from alcohol and other drugs is one of the five issues for priority action identified in "Opportunity for All New Zealanders", the Government's summary of its overall social policy.35
The NDP 2007-12 recognises that there is a continuum of harm associated with drug use and that no single approach or strategy can address the problems.36 A range of concurrent strategies are needed, including the development of specific strategies that are responsive and culturally appropriate in addressing the needs of Māori, Pacific peoples and young people, acknowledging the over-representation of these groups in many drug related issues. Strategies to support the implementation of the NDP 2007-12 can be divided into three groups, or pillars:
Changes in the availability, patterns and contexts of alcohol consumption are required to reduce the burden of harms due to alcohol, and interventions need to be responsive and culturally appropriate to the needs of Māori, Pacific peoples and young people, given the disproportionate burden of harm experienced by these population groups.
Under section 81 of the Local Government Act 2002 and as matter of good practice and partnership, the Council must involve Māori in decision-making. For the purpose of this strategy, it is crucial that Māori are given the opportunity to participate in making decisions about how the Council manages alcohol in its community.
In the information gathering phase of the strategy the Working Party identified Māori participants who had knowledge of the community's issues. The formal consultation phase will involve a workshop with the iwi liaison subcommittee as the mandated representatives of local iwi and hapu. There will also be opportunities for focus group participants, Māori and Māori organisations to make submissions on the draft strategy. There may be also be opportunities in the Action Plan part of the Strategy to develop more effective partnerships with Māori on the management of alcohol in the community.
32 New Plymouth District Council: Moving forward together. Community Plan 2006-2016.33 New Plymouth District Council: Moving forward together. Community Plan 2006-2016.34 Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy. (2007). National Drug Policy 2007-2012. Wellington: Ministry of Health. 35 Office of the Minister for Social Development and Employment. (2004). Opportunity for All New Zealanders. Wellington: Ministry of Social Development.36 Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy. (2007). National Drug Policy 2007-2012. Wellington: Ministry of Health
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