Dedicated taskforce work to get word out about alcohol ban

Published on 07 October 2021

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This Labour weekend will see a culmination of months of work from a dedicated Taskforce of Police, Council and community to address the risk of harm our young people face at the annual pilgrimage to Loch Laird top terrace to celebrate the approaching end of the senior school year.

A temporary alcohol ban, site improvements and an education campaign have been implemented by the Taskforce.

With involvement from the Youth Council, Students Against Drink Driving, Stronger Waitaki and the Road Safety Waitaki coordinator, targeted communications have aimed to get messaging about the alcohol ban and the wider issue of reduction of potential harm to our youth, widely circulated.

A temporary alcohol ban for Loch Laird top terrace, the incoming road and foreshore land west of Wildlife Reserve camping ground will enable Police to control consumption of alcohol in these areas should they need to. Police will be screening for alcohol on entry to Loch Laird top terrace and there will be extra police staff, security staff and community patrol in the area for the duration of the weekend. Police will be conducting patrols and enforcing the alcohol ban which carries a fine of $250 for drinking in a prohibited area.

Designated parking, flood lighting at the top terrace and extra facilities will be in place to facilitate safe camping at Loch Laird top terrace.

Waitaki Deputy Mayor Melanie Tavendale said, "The simple message is that Loch Laird isn’t party central. Locals and emergency services have been concerned about the behaviour and the potential for someone to get hurt over previous Labour weekends. Of concern has also been the damage to property and clean-up our ratepayers are burdened with.

Too many young people were dropped off at the site with alcohol, no food and no supervision, with many parents believing it was an organised and safe event. The alcohol ban and other measures put in place this year will give the Police tools to address behaviour, and keep the area safer for all to enjoy.”