Pub faces weekend closure

by Andrew Ashton

Liquor outlets and pubs in Westland have been put on notice to clean up their acts and clear their premises of drunks after the Liquor Licensing Authority suspended two South Westland premises from trading.
Westland District Licensing Agency inspector Eddie Newman said the Blue Ice Cafe, at Franz Josef Glacier, and the Whataroa Hotel were both seen to allow intoxicated people to remain on their premises, during a visit from the police, Community Public Heath and the district licensing inspector, on November 6.
As punishment, the Blue Ice Cafe will face a 24-hour suspension of its premises licence from 7am on April 30. The duty manager will also face an additional 15-day suspension, after one intoxicated patron was allowed to remain on the premises.
Mr Newman said the punishment for the Whataroa Hotel would be even steeper, as more than one intoxicated patron had been allowed to remain on site.
The hotel’s licence to trade will be suspended for three days — an entire weekend from 7am on April 14 until 7am on April 17.
The general manager faces a further 30-day suspension of his general manager’s licence.
Mr Newman said the Liquor Licensing Agency, police and Community Public Health would all be stepping up inspections and he urged all licensed premises to act in accordance with the Sale of Liquor Act, and in particular to ensure the were not selling alcohol to minors or already intoxicated patrons.
“It is not just alcohol, premises must also ensure they have food available in accordance to the conditions of their licence. Chips and peanuts are not good enough. Generally after 9pm good substantial food must be available.”
Kitchens need not be kept open all night as microwave food would be good enough, he said.
Although a ‘cash purchase operation’ carried out at the Wildfoods Festival found no evidence of special licensed premises acting inappropriately, Mr Newman said both he and police officials were “disappointed” that one on-licence premises in Hokitika was caught making a sale to an intoxicated patron.
The as-yet-unnamed outlet would likely face a suspension of its licence, pending a decision from the Liquor Licensing Agency, Mr Newman said.