Last drinks hot spot revealed

SHARE

Winnies has been revealed as the final watering hole for a quarter of boozy offenders dealt with by Queenstown cops.

But the bar’s owner says it’s merely a numbers game.

Stats released under the Official Information Act show 725 offenders over the past three years told cops where they had their last drink.

Winnies accounted for an eye-watering 184 of those.

It was streets ahead of Bungalow, on 68, and Cowboys, on 57.

Winnies owner and resort bar baron Mike Burgess says the bar is “exceptionally busy”, and the sheer number of people visiting the bar means it’s more likely to feature highly in the stats.

“I meet with police on a regular basis,” he says.

Police initially refused to name the bars, saying releasing the information would “unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person (licensee)”.

They only released the information after Mountain Scene complained to the Ombudsman, and they “reconsidered” the request.

They also say, like a shot of tequila, the numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt.

The names of bars were given by people who were liquored up, and the data might not be entirely accurate, they say.

Bungalow owner Daniel Taiaroa says the stats are disappointing, particularly with reference to drink-driving.

“It is especially disappointing given the measures we take to encourage safe transport options home and especially given we are located in the middle of Camp Street with the taxi rank and bus stop on our front doorstep.

“It is a difficult metric to use given that whilst someone is unable to legally operate a vehicle, that same person may be perfectly fine to be in a licensed venue.”

Cowboys didn’t respond to a request for comment.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz