Applicant insists bar is cleaning up its act
A WANAKA bar worker who hopes to clean up a latenight lounge bar will find out in the next month if his application for a duty manager’s certificate is approved.
Lalaland’s Kieran Larcombe appeared before the District Licensing Committee in Queenstown this week after his application was challenged by police for failing to disclose two convic tions for drinkdriving in Australia, from 2010 and 2012.
Had Mr Larcombe disclosed the convictions to police in his application, police would not have opposed it given the amount of time which had subsequently passed, Alcohol Harm Prevention Sergeant Tracy Haggart said.
Mr Larcombe began working at Lalaland in May and was told he needed to obtain his duty manager’s certificate.
In June, Mr Larcombe was appointed a permanent duty manager, pending the success of his application, after the Australianbased owner of the bar dismissed another duty manager.
Mr Larcombe told the committee when he started at Lalaland he had expected it to be more professionally run than it turned out to be.
‘‘We’re cleaning up the place — we’re not getting the real rough [clientele] we used to have.
‘‘Locals are coming back . . . and enjoying themselves.’’
While he had failed two verbal tests with the liquor licensing inspector, the second failure was, in part, due to having been headbutted by a patron who had ‘‘groped’’ a woman the night before, he said.
Neither of those incidents were reported to police, but the patron had been banned from Lalaland.
He said he did not want to report the matters, partly because of the application before the committee and also because he felt the bar had dealt with the incident.
When asked by the committee, Sgt Haggart said while she still had ‘‘a little doubt’’ about the truthfulness of some of the information provided, ‘‘it looks like he is doing a good job and trying to sort some things out in a bar that was not a wellmanaged bar’’.
Police had previous concerns and attended a number of incidents involving drinking on the job and drunk patrons at the bar but had not had any concerns since the start of June.
Police encouraged bar managers to report incidents at the bar.
The committee also reserved its decision in respect of Lalaland employee Tobias Fay’s application for a duty manager’s certificate.
Police opposed the application because Mr Fay did not have at least six months’ experience in New Zealand, having started his employment in June.
However, Mr Fay provided evidence to the committee of nine years’ experience in Australia, in a variety of establishments, which included management roles, along with two Responsible Service of Alcohol certificates — the equivalent of New Zealand’s Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ).