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Len Brown's night with drunken revellers

Published: 9:10AM Monday June 18, 2012 Source: ONE News

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says he is surprised by the drunken behaviour of "real idiots" on night-time city streets in central Auckland.

The mayor joined partygoers on the streets of central Auckland in the early hours of yesterday to see the situation for himself.

Brown told TV ONE's Breakfast he wants the city centre streets to be fun and welcoming.

"But there was certainly a sense of some real idiots down there and some people really inebriated."

He said there were no surprises to a certain extent, because "we're all young once" and have "been there, done that".

"But not to the extent that we're seeing down there now."

He told Breakfast it reaffirmed his view that the council needs to move forward with its plans, and that the Government's Alcohol Reform Bill needs to be passed.

Brown said he will not "muck around" on the issue, but could not say how much it will cost.

"We're putting a lot of money in there already. You and me as taxpayers and you and me as ratepayers."

Proposed changes

Auckland Council is joining forces with police to closely monitor the CBD, as the new mayoral taskforce looks at ways to curb problems caused by excessive drinking.

Among the suggested changes are more night buses, better queue management outside bars, rules to stop people parking up and "pre-loading", increased community patrols and improved security on backstreets.

Brown said easy access to off-licensed alcohol in the city is one of the issues the taskforce will look at addressing.

Earlier closing hours are also in his sights.

"If we get one uniformed closing hour, that's great. If we can shut down these bottle shops a lot earlier that's great too," Brown said yesterday.

The taskforce is also considering instant fines for people caught breaching liquor bans and eliminating the sale of single drinks from off-licence outlets.

His presence was an attraction to city drunks, with one group mistaking him for his predecessor John Banks, while others wanted to talk politics.

In another encounter, Brown was warned by two partygoers not to venture into a nearby bus stop.

"There's spew all over it," one woman said.