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Tokomaru Bay booze ban hearing

Tokomaru Bay's plea for a bylaw banning alcohol in parts of the township will be the subject of a hearing there on Wednesday night.

In October the District Council heard a strong plea from kuia Margaret Smith, who patrols the township at night as late as midnight with only her walking stick for protection. She was not afraid, she said.

As a result the council consulted the Tokomaru Bay community on the creation of a restricted area in the township.

There were 12 submissions in support of a restricted area, including three people who wish to speak at the hearing on Wednesday. They include the principal of Hatea-a-Rangi School, Karla Kohatu who will be supported by local residents Jan and Bill Hughes.

Some submitters requested that the council go further and extend the proposed restricted area.

Submitters complained of drunken behaviour in public places, poor role modelling for tamariki and rangatahi, fears for personal safety for tamariki and kaumatua and injuries from broken glass.

Staff have recommended the bylaw as the most appropriate way of addressing the issue of alcohol in public places in Tokomaru Bay.

The prohibited area includes the area in front of Hatea-a-Rangi School on the beachfront side, the Hatea-a-Rangi Memorial Domain and the Waima Wharf.

The application will be before a panel of councillors Pat Seymour (chair), Rehette Stoltz and Larry Foster who will make a short site visit to view the affected areas starting from Waima Wharf at 5pm.

The hearing starts at The Haven at Tokomaru Bay at 5.30pm and the panel is scheduled to hold its deliberations from 6.30pm.