Holiday glass ban proposal binned

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A glass bottle ban will not be imposed at Waitaki Lakes camp sites over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

The lakes camps supervisor Simon Fox had earlier urged the Waitaki District Council to introduce such a ban but council’s parks and recreation manager Eric van der Speck said while the matter had been discussed with police and the Waimate District Council, it was decided not to proceed.

“It’s not worth it, because there are enforcement issues and it is penalising legitimate users of the camps,” Mr van der Speck said.

Mr Fox had spoken up on the issue after vandalism occurred at lakeside camps over Labour Weekend.

“I’ll start afresh this time round,” he said yesterday. “I know some go up (to the lakes) to cut loose, but I have to draw a line.

“My intention is to use the Reserves Act for those who litter with glass. I can have them for wilful damage and littering the reserve.”

He said the Christmas holiday period was not as big a problem as he had experienced at Labour Weekend.

He said if he saw any problems, he would talk to the people concerned.

“If it goes beyond talking to them, I’ll take action with the police. I’ll treat everyone fairly and see what reaction I get, but I’m not prepared to have them litter reserves with glass.”

He said the numbers coming to the area was weather-dependent and rain could be a dampener but he expected up to 3000 holidaymakers could be in the Waitaki Lakes in the next three weeks.

Mr van der Speck said the main purpose of the meeting with police and the Waimate council was to discuss what happened at Labour Weekend.

“The issue is people getting inebriated; glass is not the issue.”

Temporary liquor bans have been imposed at Omarama from 6am on Thursday, December 26 through to 6am on January 2, and for Otematata from 9am on Christmas Day through to 6am on Thursday, January 2.

By CHRIS TOBIN