Drunken behaviour denied by club

Roxburgh Rugby Club manager Garry Moore.
Roxburgh Rugby Club manager Garry Moore.

A Roxburgh rugby manager has hit back at claims the town is one of "incapacitated fathers" and "recidivist drink drivers" following rugby matches.

The comments were made at a Central Otago District Council meeting last month during a submissions hearing on the Local Alcohol Policy.

The council came under criticism from health professionals about its "relaxed" and "confusing" policy, including Roxburgh-based Southern Primary Health Organisation team leader Louise Thompson.

She told councillors the region had the highest rate of hazardous drinking in the entire country - 25 per cent of the Southern population drink hazardously.

She went on to say she lived in Roxburgh, population about 600, and worried about her son growing up in the community scared he might be taken out by a drunk driver so bad was the problem.

"I can tell you about the chaos after rugby games, incapacitated fathers the next day, recidivist drunk drivers."

Garry Moore said the rugby club, as well as the community, was outraged at her portrayal of the town.

"I could not believe what she said - and going public like that without providing any evidence. The players are really annoyed they have been tarred with this brush, as is the community.

"I don't know where she is coming from. We have never had a drink driver caught leaving our club. It is licensed and we provide a controlled drinking environment."

Moore, who was also the owner of the Grand Tavern, said he was well aware of liquor laws and host responsibility.

"We have never had any trouble there. There are two duty managers on, so it's not like a free for all."

The club was focused on building up positive morale as it had only been running for about six years, after a 10-year period of not having enough support to carry a rugby team, and had just spent $70,000 doing up the clubrooms.

Roxburgh Police Constable Lance Davies, who is also a member of the rugby club, said while a person was entitled to voice their opinion, he did not agree with Thompson's comments.

He would not comment further.

The Southland Times