Retro Bar loses liquor licence

BEN STRANG
Last updated 11:05 13/12/2012

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Kapiti Observer

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LATEST: Police believe the closure of Retro Bar at Kapiti Lights will prevent booze-fuelled trouble around Kapiti, after the bar's liquor licence was revoked on Tuesday.

The Liquor Licensing Authority released its reserved decision after a hearing into the Paraparaumu bar's liquor licence was held on November 5-7.

The authority decided not to renew the bar's on-licence, and in a separate decision Retro Bar manager David Aitkin had his general manager's certificate suspended for six months.

Sergeant Jacquie Muir said police had approached Retro Bar and another tavern at Kapiti Lights in March this year, highlighting a "significant" number of liquor licensing breaches.

While the tavern reduced its hours, increased staff numbers and staff training, Retro Bar did not, she said.

"[The tavern] were really proactive and positive. [Retro Bar] made changes, but that was after the application was made with the LLA.

"Back in March we asked both places to bring back their closing hours. One of them brought it back to last drinks at quarter to 12. Retro stayed the same."

She said there was an immediate reduction in alcohol harm for individuals coming from that premises, while there was no change at Retro Bar.

The Authority's report, released to the Kapiti Observer yesterday, states Retro Bar had the chance to prove its entitlement to a renewed on-licence.

"It has failed. Indeed, all it has managed to do is to satisfy the Authority that if the on-licence is renewed then further liquor abuse issues become an inevitability.

"It has not established that it has in the past or is likely in the future to carry out the responsibilities that go with holding a licence."

The hearing also determined that Retro Bar owner Mark Spiekerman would not lose his general manager's certificate, which was renewed for 16 months commencing July 30, 2012.

However Mr Aitken's certificate was suspended for six months, the Authority saying his "performance leaves much to be desired".

The report said it would be unfair to cancel his certificate, but a suspension was necessary.

Ms Muir said the closure of Retro Bar should help reduce alcohol harm on the Kapiti Coast, and allow police to be patrolling other spaces, "because we don't have to be watching what is happening at Kapiti Lights".

Assaults in the Kapiti Lights carpark in August and September this year led to the deaths of Kapiti men Izak Millanta, 17, and Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20.

"There is a lot of public place drinking here," Ms Muir said. "We want our community to not only be safe, but to feel safe.

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"We want people to wake up in the morning and not have their letterboxes annihilated and smashed glass every where. That's what we're hoping this alcohol free zone can bring about."

Mr Spiekerman and Mr Aitkin could not be reached for comment.

FACEBOOK FEEDBACK:

Shelley Harris - "It's only a good move if all licenses in the area are given the same treatment. Fairs gotta be fair IMO."

Denise Wood - "Seriously - they think that's going to stop all the bad eggs from wandering the streets drinking and fighting, I don't think so!"

Dave Broad - "I can't see any downside to that decision."

Jason Galland - "Looks like the Montro combo is no more . . . Bring back The Hummer!"

Shiree Palmer - "Their parents have a lot to answer for. So many drop- kick teenagers these days due to no discipline. Makes for a scary future when you see young people today."

Lee Stace - "I'm glad to see it is closing down. It's a dive."

Melissa Rodrigues - "Good is all I can say, at least if they are drinking in the streets they can get arrested for it with the ban in place."

Laura Ringrose - "This is only going to make youths turn to house parties and drinking in the streets."

- Kapiti Observer

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