Monday, November 09, 2009

Tauranga Bar Scene

All the bars in Tauranga have congregated in one stretch of road called The Strand in the middle of Town.
Every Friday and Saturday night between midnight and 3am there is mayhem. Fights Brawls, assault, drunkenness, and all kinds of anti-social behaviour.
Go to this links at Sun Live to read the latest:

The bars have done nothing about the situation they are the cause of, so the council have stepped in and put in some kind of walkway from one end of the strand to the other, cutting down on the room on the footpaths allocated to each bar (this has only become necessary since the government interferred in the hospitality business by banning smoking in bars, but that is another story).

The bars are now squealing like stuck pigs because they say this walkway will see the end of their businesses due to cutting down on their footpath space (something they never had in the past)


As a musician, and a punter, I have spent far more than my fair share of time in and around pubs and bars, and I have also been part owner of a very successful bar in town (Bar In The Park), and the problems we have along the Strand at present are a relatively new phenomenon.

There have always been lots of pubs in town, and there has always been a transient crowd going from one place to the other, so maybe it is because they are all concentrated into one small strip that is the problem, as in the past the pubs were spread out all over town - ie Beach Street, Bar In The Park, Oak and Ale, Abbey Road, St Amand, and Harringtons.

I personally believe the problems in town are caused by the transient people - those moving from bar to bar, looking for the most happening place to go, want to be seen on the scene, or just out looking for trouble.

They are not caused by people inside the bars, or those outside wanting to smoke or drink.

The anti-social problems of fighting and bad behaviour we are facing are not a Council problem, it is a hospitality industry problem, so why is the council doing something about it when it is none of their bloody business!

Most of the venues, pubs and proprietors in town know this is a problem, so before council or government come down on them with a big stick, using force and threats of prosecution or various other measures to fix the problem - concocted by boring, grey zip up shoe wearing, cardigan wearers with clip boards (oopps - too late) they should do something about it themselves - a solution that would be beneficial to their businesses instead of detrimental to it, which as we know, any solution offered by the council is bound to be

Perhaps if the venues in town were to take the initiative and get together and address the problems they are the catalyst of I might be a bit more sympathetic to their current plight, but as it stands, I have no sympathy for them.

For example, perhaps if they held a meeting of all hospitality /bars etc and came up with a plan, or some solutions like this for example:
"we are all closing our doors at 11 or 12pm (or whatever), if you are not inside here before then, you cannot come in."

You can stay in here till 3am (or whatever it is, but once you are out, you cant come back in.) The fenced off areas outside the bars would be included in this area to allow smokers and those in need of fresh air to move in and out.

This would be beneficial to their businesses on many levels for example.
If the bar is empty at 11pm, you can close the doors and go home - save on wages and power

Bars would make a point of getting in the best or most popular entertainment to ensure their bar is full by 11pm

They would make more and better attempts at publicising their up and coming events, bands, acts and specials etc.

Bands DJs and bar staff would all be playing to a full house instead of half empty bars due to transients, which would ensure a much better time was had by all

The only people on the streets would be those who are under age, those on their way home, or those kicked out of bars for bad or drunken behaviour. These would be much easier to spot and mop up by the police

I am sure the pub venues and owners would have the co-operation of the council and the police to make their town and their jobs easier (you would think) and they would have their respect for using their initiative in attempting to fix a problem they all know they have and have created.

This would not be compulsory participation, but perhaps all the venues participating could come up with some kind of incentive for everybody to participate - ie membership cards - drink specials for regulars, topless barmaids - free drink for those in line to get in before 11pm - I don't know - be creative people - it's your business not mine

My advice to the bars in town is to "do it yourself, and call the shots" before "they" do it to "You." because if they do it to you, you aint gonna like it

PS: I wrote this months back before council imposed their walkway idea upon the venues in town, and before all the bleating and moaning from the publicans.

What is wrong with you people?

You know your business - why did you sit back until the problem got so bad that council were forced to do something about it?

You have gotten what you deserve, and now you are moaning about it!

A problem has arisen through your own actions, but you expect Council and Ratepayers to fix it.

All of you venues along the strand could be creaming it if only you got your heads together, but you are a working[sic] example of the rot that has set into our society - you sit back and say "what is council/government going to do about it?"

Margaret Thatcher said."The problem with people to day is that they have got all their rights in mind but none of their responsibilities.' (or words to that effect)

. . . and she is so right