Sequel To Killing

Bar warned — ‘Cut  hours or face public wrath’

By K Gurunathan (Guru)

Paraparaumu Ward Councillor

The owner’s of Paraparaumu’s Retro Bar should voluntarily, and significantly, reduce their opening hours as a show of good faith to a community shocked by the tragic killing of teenager Izak Millanta.  Failure to do so could inflame growing public protest.

This voluntary reduction should stay until the community and the relevant authorities, including the police and Kāpiti Coast District Council, work out the quickest way of making the area around Kāpiti Lights safe for all. Many already feel it’s not acceptable to have a bar open so late.

Demands for a shut down

There’s already increasing public demand by concerned parents for the Retro Bar to be closed down. I would advise the owners to take this conciliatory and community-minded step to dampen what could inflame into a massive public protest demanding immediate closure.

The Kāpiti Lights area has been identified by Police and Social Services as the least safe place in Paraparaumu and one of the least safe places on the Coast. Bar owners at Kāpiti Lights know this. Earlier this year councillors were informed there had been a meeting of bar owners, Kāpiti Patrol, Maori Wardens, KCDC and the Police to discuss ways to make the Kapiti Lights area a safer place.

One of the measures is the introduction of a bylaw to establish an Alcohol Free Space. This would allow police the power to confiscate alcohol from people turning the car park into an open bar.

The petrol stations don’t close when there is a fetal accident on SH1, the tobacco companies don’t shut up shop each time a smoker dies.
Even the maternity wards keep pumping when it is clear the by-products are all going to have short blood lives.
This is all called democracy and free will ….. live with it m8

Why are we blaming the bars instead of being shocked and outraged at the lack of parental and self responsibility. We could close the bars, but there would still be problems with large out of control parties (e.g the recent Rimu Rd incident – and it is interesting that one of the people calling for the closure of the Retro Bar is in fact the mother of the teens whose birthday party made residents feel unsafe and police were attacked when trying to close it down). It is too easy to blame bars in the face of a tragic event, but that is an easy target. After all, the bar had denied them entry. I have caught the 6.35pm and 8.35 pm buses to the station and been quite dismayed at the behaviour of some young people (clearly under-aged), already well intoxicated, loud and foul. It appears they have already “imbibed” at home and are off into town or another party. I am not a wowser, but question what responsibility their parents are taking, and what boundaries they are setting for their children. And yes, it would be very difficult in today’s technological age with texting, facebook etc and being able to make plans “in secret”. But if young teens are getting trashed regularly, surely there should be concerns at home and boundaries set. Don’t put all the blame on bars, nor take away going out options for adults.