Tag Archives: Legal highs

DCC acuity: ‘Let’s shift Octagon taxi ranks, Again —near dire drinking holes #whatswrongwiththispicture

[click to enlarge]
Octagon taxi rank.xlsxOctagon taxi rank [dunedin.govt.nz] – orange overlay by whatifdunedin (drinking holes / hospitality)

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
New trial site for evening taxi rank

This item was published on 22 Aug 2016

A new location for the evening taxi rank in the Octagon will be trialled for three months. From tomorrow, the evening taxi rank will move from outside the Municipal Chambers and Civic Centre to the central lane of the Octagon, where tour bus parking has been provided. The rank will operate from 7pm to 7am, Monday to Sunday. During the day time, the taxi rank will operate from the current location outside the Municipal Chambers and Civic Centre. Dunedin City Council Acting Group Manager Transport Richard Saunders says the covered walkway will provide shelter for people waiting for taxis. There will also be a sign to show where the taxi stand is and the area is monitored by CCTV.

“This proposal has been discussed with taxi companies, local businesses and the Police, and there is a lot of support for the trial. The trial site has several advantages over the current site and we expect it to be popular with the public too.” –Saunders

DCC staff have talked with the mobile traders who use that space during the day and the trial will not affect their use of the area. Mr Saunders says at the end of the trial, staff will discuss the results with taxi companies, the Police and local businesses before deciding whether to make it a permanent move.

Contact Richard Saunders, Acting Group Manager Transport on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

█ 22.8.16 ODT: Taxi rank trial in Octagon


Previously published comment (2.5.16):

C E N T R A L ● C I T Y ● V I O L E N C E

Mon, 2 May 2016
ODT: Stabbing: ‘What is this place coming to?’
The stabbing of a 21-year-old man in central Dunedin early yesterday has left the man who rushed to his aid questioning the state of his city. Detective Sergeant Chris Henderson said the victim was taken to Dunedin Hospital after being stabbed in the neck and back outside the The Bottle-O store on the corner of Princes St and Moray Pl about 3.30am.


DUNEDIN IS UP THERE (2015 statistics)

### newshub.co.nz Mon, 2 May 2016 at 4:45 p.m.
NZ’s most violent city spots revealed
By Lisa Owen
A Newshub investigation has revealed Auckland neighbourhoods dominate a leaderboard of the most violent city hot spots in the country. Statistics New Zealand has mapped 2015 police crime data, released to Newshub under the Official Information Act, to show the areas with the highest number of assaults, sexual assaults and robberies in public places. The crimes include anything from rape to being beaten up or being robbed of your cellphone at knife-point. Three of the five most violent city areas (precincts where there are more than 3000 residents) are in Auckland’s CBD. […] *By overlaying population data in the zones where crime has occurred, Statistics NZ has been able to work out the national average for incidents of public place violence. *Article uses 2015 statistics of victimisations by assault, sexual assault and robbery in public places.
Read more + VIDEO

█ Dunedin = No. 7 on New Zealand’s top ten most violent city hot spots
The only South Island hotspot, the area running north from the Octagon.
Dunedin_violence_low_02_05_7 [newshub.co.nz]Newshub

█ For more, enter the term *octagon* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Heritage, Infrastructure, Media, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Legal bloody highs | DCC’s pathetic buffer zones (fail OGHS / View Street)

Legal highs (via ODT 31.8.15)
• All psychoactive substances banned last year.
• Producers now need to prove their products are safe.
• Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority expected to begin issuing retail licences to sell approved products from November.
• Dunedin City Council consulting on proposed legal high retailers location policy; outlets permitted in only limited central city sites.
• No applications for product approval, or manufacturing licence, yet received.
• Any psychoactive product expected to take “at least” two years to win approval.

Dunedin City Council
Legal High Retail Location Policy

Closes: 14/09/2015

The Council is proposing to set out where legal highs (commonly referred to as ‘party pills’ or ‘synthetic cannabis’) can be sold within Dunedin.
The proposed Legal High Retail Location Policy will effectively ban sale of legal highs outside of the central city and within 100m of sensitive sites such as education facilities, churches, libraries, hospitals, mental health facilities and justice premises.

Previously psychoactive substances could be manufactured and sold without restriction. The government reacted to the harm these products caused by banning them individually once harm had been investigated and proven. The process for doing this was slow and reactive and did not effectively manage the harm caused by the substances.

Parliament has now banned all psychoactive substances unless they can be proven to be no more than a low risk of harm to users. Although manufacturers are testing products, none have yet met the test to be considered an approved product.

Despite this, from later this year, those wanting to sell legal highs can apply to the Ministry of Health’s Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority for a retail licence. This means the retailers could sell legal highs as soon as one meets the low harm threshold.

Parliament also introduced rules around selling legal highs, including an age restriction, display and packaging restrictions and a ban on their sale from supermarkets, dairies, petrol stations, premises licenced to sell alcohol, residential premises, vending machines or places likely to be frequented by minors (for example recreational or sports facilities). It also gave councils the power to specify where (within reason) in their districts, legal highs can be sold.
This means the Council can formalise the community’s preferences for where legal highs can be sold (within the scope of the law) by adopting a Legal High Retail Location Policy (also called a ‘Local Approved Products Policy’). All applications for retail licenses would have to first be checked against the policy before the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority could legally grant a licence. The Council cannot make a policy that bans legal highs outright, or is so restrictive it effectively bans their sale.

OPTIONS (Pros / Cons X)
Parliament has created a system which makes some psychoactive substances legal. The Council does not have the power to ban the sale of legal highs in Dunedin. The options available to the Council include:

Option A
Restrict legal high retailers to the Dunedin central city area provided they are more than 100m from “sensitive sites” (proposed).
Restrictions within the Act apply (no sales from dairies, petrol stations and residential premises etc.)
Sales only allowed where there is high public surveillance (Dunedin central city area) and away from sensitive sites like schools, churches, the library, the hospital, mental health facilities and justice premises
X Demand for complete ban not met

Option B
Allow sale of legal highs in areas other than the Dunedin central city area
Restrictions within the Act apply (no sales from dairies, petrol stations and residential premises etc.)
X Sales occur away from the areas of highest public surveillance and potentially closer to sensitive sites like schools, churches, the library, the hospital, mental health facilities and justice premises
X Demand for complete ban not met

Option C
No restrictions above those outlined in the Act
Restrictions within the Act apply (no sales from dairies, petrol stations and residential premises etc.)
X No restrictions on sale of legal highs near schools, churches, the library, the hospital, mental health facilities and justice premises
X Demand for complete ban not met

The Proposal
We are proposing Option A – restricting legal high retailers to the Dunedin central city area (Option A), provided they are not within 100 metres of sensitive sites such as schools, churches, the library, the hospital, mental health facilities and justice premises.

There are two key reasons for this approach.

This is the only regulation currently available to limit sale of legal highs in Dunedin

A Legal High Retail Location Policy is the only way the community can limit the sale of legal highs within the current regulatory system. The proposed policy limits the sale of legal highs to the extent possible under the law as it stands. Adopting an overly restrictive policy could be legally challenged.
Non-regulatory responses such as education and advocacy to central government can and will also be used to help manage the harm caused by legal highs.

To limit sale of legal highs to where harm is likely to be better managed

Limiting the sale of legal highs to the central city would mean sales would occur in areas where there is natural public surveillance (ie areas of high foot traffic and/or CCTV cameras). This would help reduce risks to the community.
Adding a 100m buffer zone around sensitive sites (schools, churches, the library, the hospital, mental health facilities and justice premises) will further reduce exposure to legal highs, particularly among users of sensitive sites.
By applying these criteria legal high retailers will be prohibited from suburban retail areas such as South Dunedin, Green Island, Mosgiel and Port Chalmers.

DCC Legal Highs CBD-July-2015-buffers

Have Your Say
The Council wants to know what you think about the proposed Legal High Retail Location Policy. Have we defined sensitive sites effectively? Would you add or remove any? Are the proposed buffer zones correct? How would the proposed policy affect you?
Provide your feedback using the form below and/or indicating whether you would like to speak at the public hearing, to be held in late September.

█ Feedback closes 5pm, Monday 14 September.

Consultation documents
Draft Legal High Location Policy (PDF, 549.0 KB)
Legal Highs in Dunedin – Have Your Say

Consultation details: Closing date: 14/09/2015

Public feedback
Online submission form
● Email to – legalhighs @dcc.govt.nz
● Post to – Dunedin City Council, PO Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, Attention Governance Support Officer – Legal High Retail Location Policy Consultation
● Hand deliver to – DCC Customer Services Centre, Ground Floor, 50 The Octagon, Dunedin, Attention: Governance Support Officer – Legal High Retail Location Policy Consultation

DCC Link

Comment at ODT Online:

What next DCC?
Submitted by Catcher on Mon, 31/08/2015 – 9:37am.

I think it’s just an unhappy circumstance that we’re seeing the ‘Bermuda triangle’ occur at the bottom of View St – A known problem area for anti-social behaviour. The Council will certainly be copping some flak for it and where they depict the woefully inadequate buffer zone that 100m represents around the most vulnerable and impressionable of all the ‘Sensitive sites’, the school. If that measurement started from the perimeters of these sensitive sites, no one would be permitted to operate in the city centre – which would send a clear message to our City planners.
Read more


Related Posts and Comments:
12.5.15 View Street, seen from Moray Place
2.6.15 Unpublished letter to ODT editor —Aftermath of Sunday TVNZ (10 May)
17.5.15 Social media messages after Sunday TVNZ (10 May)
11.5.15 Aftermath of Sunday TVNZ on ‘Party Central’
8.5.15 Sunday TVNZ #Dunedin —10 May TV1 at 7:00 pm

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

Octagon mud

Octagon 2Council reaps us what it sows

It comes to pass that the CBD’s most-used symbolic gathering place, The Octagon, carrying a cluster of historic buildings, the city’s public art museum, our main performance theatre (Regent), a cinema multiplex under redevelopment, shop and office buildings, the Athenaeum building on the comeback through new stewardship, the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral, the stately Municipal Chambers and Town Hall complex, the seat of local government administration (Civic Centre), and a slightly down-at-heels landscaped wide open space at the junction of surveyor Charles Kettle’s two main arterial roads (Princes/George Streets and Stuart Street), also takes a bevy of drinking bars and night spots that make a strong contribution to central city nighttime violence, disorder, and lack of public safety.

The Craft Bar homicide and the connected serious assault investigations started last weekend point up the Dunedin City Council’s lack of urban design and planning vigilance in Health and Safety matters.

This tied to recent years of lobbying by the Octagon bar owners on licensing and trading hours and conditions, sometimes tied to hosting after-match wakes for Stadium sport and events (even although major events at the stadium are tapering, as predicted), unsupported youth, gang sqirmishes, under-resourced local police, and society’s access to cut-price alcohol and its liberal use (pre-loading and regular binging) alongside other substance abuse, means the Octagon is devolving into a hell-hole of collective making – not dissimilar to what happened at Cathedral Square in Christchurch before the quakes.

What will the city council do to mitigate the situation, and how soon can we restore the space to 24/7 safety for all? Is this even possible with the cluster of ‘intemperance’ bars and no push for building owners to move to greater diversity in mixed ground floor tenanting on the lower Octagon? One way or another “Party Central” has to fold – changing the pattern of ground tiles will not suffice.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull speaks volumes when he says, at times, he does not feel comfortable near the Octagon.

ODT Editorial: Personal responsibility key (30.4.14)
Knowing Dunedin is one of the most statistically safest cities in New Zealand will bring no solace to the families involved in the tragic death of Ryan Court at the weekend. Read more

Related ODT stories:
30.4.14 Arrest after Octagon assault
30.4.14 Progress made in assault inquiry
29.4.14 ‘A good man’ mourned
29.4.14 Man hospitalised after Octagon assault
28.4.14 Bottle assault follows bar death
28.4.14 Names released after death at city bar
28.4.14 Arrest follows death at city bar
27.4.14 Man in custody over Octagon bar death

ODT ‘Booze Control: Stop and Think’ series:
Excessive drinking changes the way people act
30.1.14 Education fails, professor says
29.1.14 South’s alcohol statistics worst
28.1.14 Delicate balancing act over licensing
27.1.14 Still a ‘very safe community’
25.1.14 Time to clean up act over alcohol
25.1.14 The cold, naked truth about nightlife

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Heritage, Hot air, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium