'Pedantic' decision costs club

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 07:33 19/12/2012

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The Timaru Town and Country Club is estimating it will lose between $8000 and $10,000 due to a 24-hour liquor licence suspension which it has labelled "pedantic".

The breach concerned allowing non-members into the club at 6.30pm for a Pink Floyd Tribute Show earlier this year when the special licence was effective from 7.30pm.

Club manager Vince Gardner said he felt the sting was "underhand" and the law was "pedantic".

"The only mistake we made was we didn't have the licence early enough."

And Timaru South Cosmopolitan Club manager Wayne McBeath estimates his club will lose $3000 over its suspension for not ensuring only people entitled to be on the premises were served alcohol.

The two guests at the centre of the compliance check, who were operating the sting, did not sign in, which was a requirement of the club's liquor licence.

He said it was unfortunate that the usual duty manager was working in the kitchen for about five minutes at the time of the operation and another duty manager did not check their "IDs".

"We know 95 per cent of members, it's the first time this has happened and we never have problems with under-agers."

He said the Cosmopolitan club has accepted it made a mistake.

Mr Gardner said that though he disagreed with the authority's decision to temporarily suspend the Timaru Town and Country Club's licence it would not defend it because of the cost.

The Returned and Services Association is also facing similar charges from the same compliance check, but is still awaiting the decision of the authority.

The Liquor Licensing Authority had originally provided The Timaru Herald with its decision that the two clubs would have their licences suspended for 24 hours for serving liquor to a minor. This was incorrect, as the compliance check operation was made to ensure that liquor was being served only to those entitled to be on the premises.

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- The Timaru Herald

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