Sob story on Stuff: reporters didn’t check facts

Today Stuff has a sob story about a Christchurch bar that has had to close due to Council policy wonks and the number of car parks they need.

The owners of a Christchurch bar locked in a stoush with the city council will close their doors with a “bitter taste” in their mouths on Sunday.

Kaizuka Eatery and Garden Bar co-owner Dwayne Vaughan remains embroiled in a dispute over the number of car parks on his site.

He said complying with the Christchurch City Council’s advice to hire a planner would be “admitting failure”.

“We’ve given staff notice that our last day is on Sunday. [It’s] gutting but you’ve got to move on,” he said.

It had not been decided whether the business would be sold, Vaughan said.  

Dwayne and Tiffany Vaughan had been locked in battle with the council over the issues for more than a year.

The council said the bar likely needed to create 21 extra car parks to operate within the rules of the City Plan, but the Vaughan’s believed that was “unachievable”.

Council licensing and compliance manager Fiona Proudfoot said council had worked with Kaizuka’s owners to try resolve the issues.

While Council seems to be a problem, the journalist didn’t do much fact checking.

It turns out the business also has a very expensive court order to pay close to $30,000 for unjustifiable dismissal of a staff member.

It is interesting reading and shows a lack of process, poor communication and incompetent management.

Whilst the actions of the Council are annoying I suspect it was the Employment Relations Authority decision that really forced them out of business.

These sorts of orders can easily break the back of a small business.


– Fairfax

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