Ap­pli­cant in­sists bar is clean­ing up its act

Otago Daily Times - - Regions - TRACEY ROXBURGH

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).

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