Canadian-bound bungy king discharged


A bungy pioneer caught driving while three times the limit has been discharged without conviction.

Paul Henry van Asch, 53, one of the founders of Queenstown’s AJ Hackett Bungy, was, however, disqualified from driving for six months.

In Queenstown’s court this morning, Van Asch’s lawyer Bill Dawkins says the businessman needs to travel to Canada on business.

Dawkins says a drink-drive conviction would halt the trip, leading to consequences for the business, for New Zealand tourism workers likely in future to be deployed abroad, and for the export of NZ knowledge.

Judge David Ongley agreed the consequences of a conviction were out of proportion with the gravity of the offending.

“The basis of this application is not one of wilful privilege but rests on the fact there will be flow on consequences that will affect a thriving business and other people.”

Van Asch was stopped on Robins Road, Queenstown, on November 13.

A blood test revealed a reading of 152 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

Van Asch – who – must also make a $600 donation to Queenstown charity Happiness House.

As well as being the co-founder of AJ Hackett Bungy, van Asch is the owner of van Asch Wines.