More than half Queenstown's nightclubs have been found to
be breaching fire regulations because of partially blocked
The Fire Service's new fire risk manager for the Queenstown
Lakes district, Paul Glanville, has visited 15 bars and
nightclubs in the past few weeks and found ''over half'' with
exits blocked by ''cardboard boxes, kegs, rubbish bins and
stuff like that''.
The breaches found were ''easy fixes'', but exits were
critical during emergency evacuations and had to be kept
completely clear, he said.
Mr Glanville, who left Invercargill to take up the position a
month ago, said it was the first appointment of its type in
the country since a major reorganisation of the Fire Service
two years ago.
The appointment was the result of lessons learned from the
Christchurch earthquakes and the World Bar fire in Queenstown
His other duties, fire investigation and community education,
had been ''put aside'' for the next six months so he could
work with nightclubs and accommodation providers to reduce
''These issues aren't new, but the fire service has lacked
the resources to be vigilant about liaising and collaborating
with building owners and managers to get it right.''
He discussed the issue with the Queenstown Lakes District
Council and police this week and found that ''everyone's on
the same page''.
''We manage the risk, be proactive and make sure our visitors
He intended to make follow-up visits to nightclubs and
accommodation providers on a more frequent basis to
''educate, rectify and hopefully get a change of behaviour''.
If that approach failed, a business could be found in breach
of its liquor licence.
''We hope we don't have to go there - we would like to think
communication is the key,'' Mr Glanville said.
''The good thing about what we are seeing is there are some
pretty simple fixes that just require a change in behaviour
of some of the managers and owners.''