Saturday, November 7, 2015


I am a little surprised at the decision of the Hastings District Licensing Committee to issue a Special License to the Mongrel Mob to enable them to 'celebrate' their 50 years of 'service' to the community.

I guess 'service' can be taken to mean involvement in some way, shape or form in just about every crime covered by the Crimes Act.

My understanding is that the grant of the license was opposed by the Inspectorate, the Police and the Medical Officer of Health.

Lets go back to basics.   The 1989 Act was generally seen as a 'liberalizing' Act.   Three years ago Parliament decided in its wisdom and reflecting community concern to 'wind back the clock' a tad.   The result was the 2012 Act which changed the goalposts.   The Act has as its object, set out in Section 4, that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly and that the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimized.

The word 'minimized' has been determined to mean ... reduced to the lowest possible degree.

We then need to go to S105 which sets out the criteria for the issue of licenses.   S105(1) has it that the licensing authority or the licensing committee Must (my italics) have regard to the following matters .... eleven listed .... I want to focus on two of those:

S105(1)(b)  the suitability of the applicant and
S105(1)(k)  any matters dealt with in any report from the Police, an inspector or Medical Officer of Health.

Suitability has been determined on Appeal in Sheard (Holland J) to mean what it means and I quote "Suitability is a word commonly used in the English language and is well understood" and further "Where a statute uses an unambiguous word or expression and chooses not to enlarge on the ordinary definition of the word or expression by special interpretation in the statute it is usually unwise for a Court to add to the general meaning of the word as a general rule for all cases".

To my mind the test is 'does the background of the applicant/entity suggest they are a right and proper person to be afforded the privilege (and it is a privilege) of a grant of a liquor license and further, can I have a degree of confidence that he/she will adhere to the objects of the Act set out in S4.

In making that assessment I would place some store on any reports received in terms of S105(1)(k). While I acknowledge I have not read those reports and particularly whether the applicant person (as opposed to the entity) has a criminal history I would be surprised if the reports did not characterize the entity as an organisation that has no respect at all for the rule of law.    What we do know (according to the media) is that all three reports opposed the grant of a license.

I guess to be fair to the DLC (if I need to be) I suspect in making the grant they took the view that it was better to have the Mob drinking in a controlled environment that could be monitored by the authorities.

One further matter.   I think it unfortunate that neither the Chair/Members of the DLC would front to Newstalk ZB to explain the rationale behind the decision.   The public have a right to know and the DLC runs the risk of losing public support for their decision making ability by refusing to take the public into their confidence.

Pdm and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy live in that general area.   Would be interested in their take on the matter.

Updated ... I see the fact the license has attached to it the requirement that low alcohol beer be available along with orange juice, water and food is being trumpeted as some sort of a win for civilization.   Stuff and nonsense ... that is a standard requirement for on-licenses and club licenses but the reality is that the Mob ain't known for drinking low alcohol beer or orange juice or water.


pdm said...

I wasn't aware of this until I saw your post Vet.

Hard to see it affecting mrspdm and I but having said that it seems a very strange decision especially with the current uproar about Wendy's Liquor Licencing application in Christchurch.

Noel said...

Good read titled "Gangs of New Zealand".
What's obvious is that everything the Police, Governments and Local Bodies have thrown at them hasn't really changed anything.

It's not the special licence that would be the major problem.

Police failure to get a consensus from other gangs to "butt out" during this period would be more alarming.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... so you're happy for 'gangs to be granted Special Licenses and by definition declared as suitable persons to be entrusted with the privilege that goes with the holding of a license
in the full and certain knowledge that they will do their level best to minimize alcohol abuse? Trusting soul.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy said...

I have an intimate knowledge of the local mobsters. My chance of winning Lotto tonight far exceeds the likelihood of them complying with the laughable 1 can at a time, no more than 5 cans each of low alcohol beer. Believe that will happen and believe that I have a bridge to sell you in a colour of your choice.

The Veterans own platoon in Vietnam couldn't reach those standards - but that is another story.

I shall be listening on my Police Scanner [as I am now - it's still analogue in HB] the touring about has started. The bunfight tonight at Te Aute will be a delight I shall endeavour to keep you informed.

Mind you, these guys are amateurs compared to 2 Platoon of Victor 3 Coy.

Noel said...

"so you're happy for 'gangs to be granted Special Licenses and by definition declared as suitable persons to be entrusted with the privilege that goes with the holding of a license
in the full and certain knowledge that they will do their level best to minimize alcohol abuse? Trusting soul."

No I am not. You know about assume, you've seen it highlighted enough by others.

Trusting no but realist yes. If the licence had not been approved it would simply have been on to a new venue possibly hidden from police informants until the last minute.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... the Act does not work that way. The grant is to be measured against specific criteria. Unless you can put hand on heart and say that on the balance of probabilities (the civil standard applies here) they meet the specific criteria detailed in S105 then the DLC MUST refuse the application.

It would be a dangerous precedent indeed for a DLC to approve an application on the premise that if it was to be declined the applicant would go ahead anyway in defiance of the law. If they do that they break the law ... the penalties are set down in S233 ... a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or a fine of not more than $40,000.

Anonymous said...

Noel said...

Regardless If it was in my area I would be more concerned if the "others" were going to stay away.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... two quite different issues. One the responsibility of the licensing authority and the second, the police. The DLC cannot arrogate to itself what is a matter for the police to deal with.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy said...

Having 3 of their Wairoa number dead after their car went off the Mohaka bridge this afternoon may cause them to get excited.

At the moment things are quiet on the scanner

JC said...

I presume we are talking the Mohaka "Viaduct" and not the Mohaka Bridge?


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy said...

Mohaka Bridge near Raupunga on SH2. Heard a mention on the scanner of identifying double cab utes in Raupunga [a stronghold of the rival Black Power]. CIB heading for the crash site and then a story this morning of the car being 'run off the road'........

Things were getting a little confused with a Motorcyclist killed around the same time near the other Mohaka bridge/viaduct on the Napier-Taupo road SH5.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy said...

Oops getting confused myself. MM crash was off the bridge beside the Mohaka Viaduct [Rail bridge]

JC said...

Heh, as a local back in the day there was only one Mohaka Bridge.. the new one on SH5 past Titiokura. The bridge at Raupanga is indelibly etched in my mind from the days it was called the Viaduct and you had to get out in the middle of the night and open and close the rabbit gate at the Northern end to drive off. It was scary stuff walking ahead in the car lights with the noise of the wind and river when you were just a kid.

Way back the old Meeanee Rodeo used to keep their buckjumpers on farms around Tutira and Puterino and we used to take our own horses up there by horse float before Dawn where the locals had rounded up the horses and we drove them down the road to Eskdale, then along Westshore and over the old bridge that lead to Greenmeadows. We pushed the horses towards the Mission Farm, down Church Rd and then hang a left past the Taradale School and straight down to Taradale and past Taggetts Pub and on to Meeanee Rd.

All the horses were pretty tired by then but the traffic and all the neighbours chasing them off their grass berms had them pretty excited and they galloped past the pub and all the way down to Meeanee and on to the stock route they called Sandy Rd and to the rodeo grounds. It was hugely exciting fun when you were a kid but boy.. you were tired and sore that night!


Noel said...

Tinker the airwaves empty?

Perhaps this is the reason.
"The Mongrel Mob's 50th celebrations in Hastings have gone without incident, according to police.

A large number of gang members gathered from across the country for a memorial run and celebrations held at Te Aute Hotel on State Highway 2 last night, where the gang was granted a special liquor licence to hold the event.

Inspector Andy Sloan says both the memorial run and the hotel event were without any arrests.

"Everything went smoothly and there was great co-operation from the gang," he says. "They abided by all the conditions of their licence and it was a well-managed event."

Read more:

The Veteran said...

Noel ... it matters not that the event went well. Luck perhaps helped by a huge police presence. The MM is what it is. I listened on the radio to a lady from Hastings who opposed the grant on the basis that the mob bashed her husband to within an inch of his life. I repeat, the grant of a license is a privilege. The MM does not have my confidence that it deserves this privilege. You can choose to disagree if you like. That's your 'privilege'.