Inner city definition stalls policy

KATE DAVIDSON
Last updated 12:00 01/03/2014

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A hiccup over a map has stalled Nelson city's draft local alcohol policy decisions.

The draft local alcohol policy (LAP) has been put on hold as no definition or map was sent out to the public with the proposal for the designated "inner city zone", where the sale and supply of alcohol will be limited by the Nelson City Council's policy.

The council met on Thursday to discuss how submissions from the community and industry would affect the draft policy after it went out for public consultation.

After nearly three hours of discussions councillors realised a map designating the "inner city zone" had not been out put out to the community meaning different people had different ideas about what area they were making submissions on.

The meeting was paused as staff worked out which map had been used for the policy. Councillors were also unclear about what areas were included in the "zone". The map staff had used was from the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP), and while this map was referred to in the draft policy it was not attached.

Councillor Pete Rainey said the map was not appropriate for the policy.

"It's a very interesting area and when we look at it, it's got nothing to do with the local alcohol policy. Why would we have all those bathroom and tile shops down St Vincent's St included in this and have the Post Boy Hotel left out. It does seem kind of bizarre so I do think we should have a little pause," said Mr Rainey.

Mayor Rachel Reese said it was "very important" to clarify this point as there had been submissions made under assumptions about what the "inner city zone" entailed. She said she had highlighted the issue last year in the previous council when the policy was being created and there was some responsibility on council staff who prepared the documents to go out for consultation.

Ms Reese said providing a definition was "fairly critical" and in her opinion "this wasn't perhaps the council's best work".

Deputy Mayor Paul Matheson agreed with Ms Reese when she suggested the matter be adjourned.

He said time was needed to clear up what areas were in the inner city zone and avoid problems this could cause later.

"We've opened up a situation which requires us to step back and just have a real good look at exactly what we supplied. Because we didn't supply a map I don't think some people actually knew where the fringe was and I think some people would find themselves very, very close to this area and they would probably not be happy with some of the decisions we are looking at making," he said.

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Ms Reese said she did not expect the hold-up to cost the city much extra time and resources. She said the NMRP map might not be appropriate because one of the city's nightclubs would sit outside the city area, potentially bringing it under a residential zone and limiting its opening hours.

Council chief executive Clare Hadley advised the council to wait until the matter was clarified. "I think if there is any query around this then the best thing to do is adjourn and consider it carefully and consider whether we need to consult with those who submitted and re-consult with the whole community or indeed after taking advice decide that we don't need to re-consult, but I think a pause for today is the appropriate step," she said.

The council agreed to adjourn the matter until advice had been given.

- The Nelson Mail

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