Police oppose 'risky' Magog party

Last updated 05:00 28/01/2014
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Magog president Russell "Shagger" Gilmer

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A planned street party celebrating the Magogs' anniversary has been classed "high-risk" with potential for violence and intimidation, noise nuisance, drunk driving and alcohol-related harm.

The District Licensing Committee will decide tomorrow whether to grant a special licence for the motorcycle club's 40th anniversary celebration concert.

Police and three members of the public have opposed the application by Peggy Gordon's owner Bertie Burleigh to hold the concert on Egmont St on March 1.

Licensing inspector Murray Clearwater and medical officer of health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, have also expressed concerns.

Senior constable alcohol harm reduction/licensing Cheryl McGrath wrote to the committee opposing the party application and asking for a hearing.

"Eight hours of drinking by gang members and associates in the CBD conflicts with all safety strategies put in place by council, police, community agencies and health."

In his report to the committee, Mr Clearwater said the party was at high risk of being too loud, of having patched gang members getting drunk and choosing to be violent and intimidating, of breaching new drink drive limits if they drive or ride away from the party and of getting into "conflict" with other CBD users on a Saturday night.

Dr Jarman did not oppose granting the licence for the party but said several matters made him feel uncomfortable about the risks.

A national scoring system for alcohol-related harm found the nature of the event and the types of alcohol available meant the party was high-risk.

According to Mr Clearwater's report, Mr Burleigh had already agreed to take any drinks mixed with Redbull off the menu, and sell no pre-mixed bottled drinks with more than 5 per cent alcohol by volume.

He had also agreed to meet a host of other conditions including providing food, security and trained staff.

But it was not enough to satisfy Mr Clearwater, who recommended each person at the event be limited to two drinks at a time and that the bar close at 11.45pm.

Mr Burleigh's plans for the concert include closing and fencing off Egmont St so a stage can be set up for Devilskin, Sticky Filth, The Nod, Bullfrog Rata and Shayn Wills to play to a 1200-strong crowd.

Last month 10 New Plymouth District councillors voted to allow the street closure while Gordon Brown, Grant Coward, Howie Tamati and Richard Handley voted against it.

Committee members considering the application will be Channa Perry, Barrie Smith and commissioner Alex Matheson.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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