Community & Environment

Proposed bylaw changes reflect changing times

A scheduled review of Hamilton’s Safety in Public Place Bylaw means Hamilton City Council is asking for community views on proposed minor changes which better reflect today’s lifestyles.

The bylaw defines ‘nuisance behaviour’ and provides a clear framework for staff to manage safety in public areas of the city. Last revised in 2014, the current bylaw includes a ban on skateboarding in Civic Square and Garden Place.

Cr Mark Bunting, Chair of the Council’s Community Committee, says community attitudes towards skateboarding have changed since the initial bylaw was drafted, and new active transport modes have been developed.

“Skateboards, scooters, e-bikes and other personal transport options are increasing in use throughout the city and especially in the central city,” Cr Bunting says.

“The bylaw has changed over the years to reduce the areas prohibited for skateboarding and now we’re proposing to remove the last two areas (Civic Square and Garden Place) and make the bylaw more consistent with the way people actually use our shared spaces,” he says.

The Council’s City Safe unit manages the bylaw in the city, and Unit Manager Kelvin Powell says the proposed bylaw, and existing law, provides for public safety.

“Our approach is to engage with and educate people about the requirements of the bylaw, and we haven’t yet taken a prosecution under it,” he says.

There are other minor changes proposed for the bylaw, including a revised definition of psychoactive substances.

Public feedback is sought on the changes before June 30. Submission forms and the proposals are available online through the Council’s consultation hub at Hamilton.govt.nz/haveyoursay, in hard copy from Hamilton City Libraries, or by phoning the Council’s call centre on 07 838 6699.

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