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Betelnut free zones declared: Vendors warned to stay out or face hefty fines & imprisonment

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By Chris Hapert

THE Honiara City Council (HCC) Betelnut Free Zone Ordinance has now commenced on the 13th of November 2023.

In a statement from the Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Law Enforcement Division Councilor (Cr), Robert Oge acknowledged the cooperation of the members of the council for working together to bring the bill to the final stage and thanked the national government for its tremendous support.

He explained it is an exercise of the powers under sections 34 and 35 of the Honiara City Act 1999.

The selling of betelnuts is prohibited in betelnut-free zone says the Deputy Mayor.

The betelnut-free zones in Honiara City are as scheduled.

(a) Mendana Avenue

(b) Hibiscus Avenue

(c) Kukum Highway

(d) Prince Phillip Highway

(e) Tandai Highway

(f) public market established with the Authority of the Council under the Honiara (Markets) Ordinance

(g) any facility or venue accessed or use for sporting activities by the general public

(h) any school or organization operating under the Honiara City Council

(i) any other areas the Council approved pursuant to section 6.

He said the offences are as listed below.

(a) The Consumption of betelnut on public transport in a betelnut-free zone or anywhere in the betelnut-free zone is prohibited.

(b) The sale of betelnut in a betelnut-free zone or a public place is prohibited.

(c) Littering in a betelnut-free zone or public place is prohibited.

(d) A person who contravenes subsection (a) or (c) commits, or offence.

The Maximum penalty; 10, 000 penalty units or 5 months imprisonment, or both.
Deputy Mayor Councillor Oge urged the Honiara residents and the visiting public to adhere to the Honiara City Council Ordinances.

He said it is very important for the Honiara residents and the visiting public to work together with the Honiara City Council to ensure the city is clean, safe, and beautiful.

– HCC Media

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