The Wedderburn Tavern has notched up eight breaches of its liquor licence, including aboozy lock-in occurring, a liquor licence hearing was told earlier this week.
But the publican of the tavern hit back, saying much of the evidence had been fabricated or twisted, and talked of intimidation by the licensing authorities.
The tavern was the subject of a Central Otago District Council liquor licence hearing on Monday. The hearing panel was made up of Bob McNeil (chairman), Cr Neil Gillespie and Michael MacAvoy.
The Ministry of Health opposes the renewal of the liquor licence, while the police do not oppose the application.
Ministry of Health representative Stephanie Bekhuis-Pay said the tavern did not have robust systems around many issues and did not meet the standards to have a licence renewal for another three years.
She suggested a 12-month renewal so publican Angela Stockdale could work through issues.
The tavern did not have signage about minors, levels of intoxication or manager certificates, had no evidence of staff training, was holding functions in what was a nonlicence area in the tavern, held inappropriate promotions and did not address disorderly behaviour issues, she said.
‘‘We have helped her but she has not used these resources. She is holding irresponsible promotions. When you go into a bar and the behaviour is not good, it is her job to de-escalate it,’’ Ms Bekhuis-Pay said.
‘‘Patrons need to know you are the one running the pub, not them.’’
She was surprised police did not oppose the renewal of the licence.
Constable Paddy Henderson told the hearing he had visited the tavern at 9pm and observed the doors were locked but there were lights on inside.
He was let in after knocking on the door and was then told by a patron it was a lock-in and they did not want to have the police there.
The language was a bit stronger than that but he and the patron who had spoken went outside and eventually the patron apologised, Cons Henderson said.
Ms Stockdale, who bought the tavern in late 2021, said it was a family focused tavern and more than 50% of its revenue came from food sales. It was rarely open after 9pm. She worked out the average person bought two and a-half drinks.
There had been two drinkdriving cases, but both were out of her control — one where she was lied to and the other where someone had changed plans and gone against her advice, she said.
She felt let down by the authorities and was shocked at what she had read in the 200-page submission from the Ministry of Health.
‘‘I find the 200-page document quite extraordinary. A lot of it has been twisted and there is a reasonable amount of fabrication.’’
She had organised a meeting with two people from government agencies but had been met by four people, which had been ‘‘quite a bit of intimidation, to be honest.’’.