Pub closes over food fight
A brawl broke out at a Marlborough bar at the weekend after a woman stole another woman's food.
Police were called to the Woodbourne Tavern in Renwick on Sunday night after the annual Woody Pig and Deer Hunt.
Hunt organiser and Woodbourne Tavern co-owner Rowan Ingpen said the brawl started when a woman took food from another woman's hot platter.
"It was a calamity really," he said.
"It just escalated.
"Someone gets bumped, a boyfriend steps in, then a family member, and it just got hard to manage."
The two women started punching each other using closed fists.
Other patrons soon joined in.
The women were kicked out of the pub, but fighting continued to break out.
"We got it under control and then someone else had a go," Ingpen said.
"It got to the point where we said ‘nah, we're going to be fighting this all night'."
Staff called police to assist and the decision was made to close the pub about 9pm.
"We didn't want to stay open for people that can't behave themselves," he said.
Ingpen said it wasn't hunters who started the fight and it wasn't fair on those who went along to have a good night.
Closing the pub impacted on the night's takings, but safety came first, he said.
"It's a financial loss, so it's frustrating, but we would prefer to keep people safe rather than line our back pockets."
It was the fifth year the hunt had run, and the second year it had been organised by the Woodbourne Tavern.
It was a let down that the fighting spoiled everyone's night, but it didn't affect the hunting competition, Ingpen said.
"It's disappointing how some people behave when people had come out to enjoy themselves, but it didn't put a dampener on the day."
Constable Andrew Holdaway, of Blenheim, said police were dispatched about 8.40pm after reports of fights breaking out.
No-one was arrested or charged in relation to the incident, he said.