Alcohol bans are set to return to Riversdale beach, above, and Castlepoint for Labour Weekend and New Year. PHOTO/FILE
Drinking rules recommended at a Masterton District Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee meeting on Wednesday will have consumption or possession of alcohol prohibited at Castlepoint and Riversdale beaches for Labour Weekend 2019 and New Year celebrations.
The recommendation, to be approved by the full council, will have prohibition of alcohol from 7pm to 7am each day of Labour Weekend, October 25-28.
Alcohol would also be prohibited from 6pm on December 30 until 6am on January 1.
Over New Year, vehicles would be prohibited from 4pm on Tuesday, December 31, until 6am Wednesday, January 1.
Consultation on the issue was carried out last summer, and a report to the committee said there was widespread support for the proposal from the community.
This week councillor Simon O’Donoghue spoke about the history of the busy weekends and restrictions at the beach.
Years ago, he said, there was a resident policeman who would monitor the beaches over the busy periods, which worked quite well.
Then, for a year there were no police, problems occurred, and the next year it was difficult to reintroduce and enforce regulations.
Last year police got the balance right, he said, and “weren’t overzealous in their actions”.
O’Donoghue said he had always supported the road closing at New Year but not starting at noon, as it had in the past, as this restricted access to the beach and turned it into “an exclusive community”, which he said was not what going to the beach was about.
The proposed prohibition will this year have road closures from 4pm.
He said the 4pm closure allowed the likes of Wellington beachgoers the chance for picnics and day trips.
It also gave people coming out to the beach more time to safely make their way to celebrations.