News, Events and Culture

Hospitality industry steps up to make Palmerston North’s night life more enjoyable for all

Tuesday October 23 2012

The Charter was created by the CBD Hospitality Charter group which formed in November last year following meetings between bar owners and managers, the enforcement agencies and other related agencies and groups (associated stake holders).

The signed up members of the charter are the five bars in lower Main Street consisting of The Empire Hotel, Office Bar, Murphy's Law, Shooters and High Flyers.  Stake holder members include Palmerston North City Council, Palmerston North Police, Mid Central Health, Safe Trust Palmerston North (City Hosts), ACC, NZ Fire Service, Hospitality NZ, CD Security and Taxis Palmerston North to name a few.

CBD Hospitality Charter chairman Jason Deane says we are committed to delivering high standards in hospitality and host responsibility, while helping achieve a safer city for the precinct we all operate within.

"The bar owner members want extend their responsibilities beyond their legal responsibilities under the Sale of Liquor Act.

Some of the issues the group has identified include:

  • Increasing loitering crowds on streets, including youths loitering.
  • Public breaking the Council Liquor Control Bylaw (Liquor Ban) and taxi liquor bans (drinking in public areas).
  • An increase in underage people trying to access bars and people arriving in town already heavily intoxicated after pre loading.

"We want to contribute to a reduction in the level of disorderly behaviour from the various groups and people in our area," says Mr Deane.

"Our message to people in the Main St precinct is that we are committed to making our area, safer, more vibrant and more fun for those that are in the vicinity of our bars. We want to educate people on what we call our 'Customer Code of Conduct' and what their obligations are and what behaviour we expect from them while visiting our street. This will enhance the experience and benefits to everyone in the area."

The immediate initiatives that charter members have adopted are:

  • Display the Charter Signage at the entrance to bars and on Main Street.  And distribute flyers to the public.
  • Police assisting in the training for Duty Managers and Security, specifically around intoxication assessment of patrons.
  • One way door policy: ALL bars operating a strict 2.30 am policy on Saturday Nights (Sunday morning).
  • Bars to enforce Street liquor ban: by not letting members of the public into the bars if they are drinking illegally in the streets.
  • Radio "communication tree" down Main Street:  Bars have a structured line of communication with each other. 
  • Blanket refusals for drunk or disorderly patrons:  Using the communication tree to ensure refusal of a patron is enforced through ALL the venues, by sharing information (and a description) with each bar. "Banned from one, Banned from ALL"
  • Extra security presence at 3 am close:  Bar security post up to two security guards out on the street in the direct vicinity of the bar at 3 am when the bar closes for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • (Mellow Yellow) High Visibility Jackets:  All bar security (working on the door) wear high visibility yellow vests from 2 am and police and safe city staff to wear them also.
  • Initiatives to discourage drink driving:
  • Under age sting: Door security to make an effort to retain ALL fake or tampered Ids provided by underage people, and issue a trespass notice to offenders.
  • Additional staff training to members' staff on: Host Responsibility training, First Aid and Conflict Resolution.