23 Aug 2013

Beggar by-law seen as a disgrace

8:42 am on 23 August 2013

An opponent of a new Auckland Council by-law that will banish beggars who intimidate the public or cause a nuisance, says the new restriction is a disgrace.

Auckland Council passed the by-law on Thursday. It will come into effect in May next year.

Under the change, council officers will be able to move on beggars and others such as car window-washers and buskers, but also refer them to social agencies for help.

Mayoral candidate John Minto said the definition of "nuisance" is too broad and may be exploited by people who don't like the presence of beggars on the street.

He said the by-law is unnecessary, as the police can already deal with people who are a public nuisance.

The by-law has the tentative support of the Auckland City Mission, which says it will be watching closely to see how the by-law is implemented.

Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney said the by-law is not clear enough and it will still be difficult to move beggars on.