A resignation offence

March 3rd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An Auckland politician has admitted making threatening comments about getting a restaurant’s liquor licence pulled after being refused a free bottle of wine.

Howick local board member faces a formal complaint, after the incident last week at the Porterhouse Grill, a popular new family-owned restaurant in Pakuranga.

Resident Peter Barclay, who is related to one of the staff, has lodged a complaint with chief executive Stephen Town, demanding Udy be censured for using his position to solicit a gift.

“When this was politely refused by management he became abusive and claimed that because of his position as a Howick board member he had the power to close the restaurant down,” the complaint alleges.

That’s so far beyond acceptable behaviour that I think it is a resignation offence. You should not hold positions like that, if you think it allows you to bully local restaurants.

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45 Responses to “A resignation offence”

  1. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    :neutral: What planet are these people on?

    How would you even consider “requesting a free bottle of wine?”

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  2. mjw (396 comments) says:

    The only thing that can be said in defence is that, for now, it is an untested newspaper report. We would’t want to form a media lynch mob. But if this is accurate, I agree the board member’s position is untenable.

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  3. eszett (2,410 comments) says:

    He was requesting it because of the slow service

    I will remember you.”Loy said the new 140-seat restaurant was unexpectedly busy that night and mains were taking around 40 minutes to arrive at tables. He had approached diners and told them to expect a delay.

    Those at Udy’s table of four asked if there was going to be a free bottle of wine as compensation but he told them this would not be happening.,

    Fair enough, no harm asking, who wouldn’t if the service is bad.
    But threatening to abuse his position to revoke or not renew the liquor license is certainly not.

    Approached last night for comment, Porterhouse Grill owner Adrian Loy confirmed Udy made “serious accusations” against the restaurant as he settled the bill on February 22
    “He said, best of luck renewing your liquor licence.
    I will remember you.”

    However he did go in the next day to apologise

    Udy returned to the restaurant the next day and apologised for his behaviour.

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    This is indicative of the leeches that now festoon corridors of local government, none having any decency nor humility! Look at the Lecher of Auckland, a classic example.

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  5. Pete George (23,576 comments) says:

    I don’t think requesting something off the bill for a dispute over service is out of order, restaurants often give something at no charge to compensate for a slip up. But slow service when busy is something that should be expected in a restaurant.

    Asking for a free bottle of wine is tricky though – that has a higher cost price than giving a free course and is quite substantial.

    But threatening to use his position as an elected representative to threaten closure is clearly totally inappropriate. And resignation would be appropriate.

    An apology the next day is too late for something like this, the damage has been done as soon as the threat has been made.

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  6. Nostradamus (3,326 comments) says:

    Hmm…

    “It was a service issue and it really was a little bit out of proportion … It was out of proportion in that it was an overreaction on my part and their part.”

    That’s the Aaron Gilmore defence right there… and we all know how that went…

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  7. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    He deserves the axe. The greedy crook must be sacked.

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  8. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    It was a very real threat too, because Steve Udy sits on the committee that reviews and approves liquor licences.

    [DPF: And that is the difference with say an MP saying he knows the PM and can get him sacked. He can't. But this wasn't an idle threat - it was a real one]

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  9. George Patton (349 comments) says:

    @whaleoil – wow. He has to go. That’s a genuine abuse of his role.

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  10. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Whaleoil

    It was NOT a ‘real’ threat. Steve Udy deserves to be censured, but the committee is made up of a number of people, most of whom are sensible minded people. I suspect alcohol was controlling his mouth, and yes, he needs a damn good ‘kick up the butt’, and put in his place, but there is no reason to think that everyone else on that committee is as bigger idiot as him.

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  11. Akaroa (557 comments) says:

    This was a revealing insight into this man’s character.

    He is clearly totally unqualified to serve the public in any political capacity.

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  12. Scott1 (552 comments) says:

    Maybe he was already drunk from the previous venue he had extorted alcohol from…

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  13. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    Why should he resign? Len Brown can conduct an extra-marital affair on council premises, using council resources, and he hasn’t had to resign. Isn’t it nice to have such wonderful, ethical, principled civic leadership, Auckland friends?

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  14. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Resignation ? Not sure, it’s very close. It was an empty threat after he’d been rejected. Abuse of power though.

    I’m sure that the good people of Pakuranaga will deliver their verdict at the next election though and kick him out.

    As an aside, I’d encourage everyone in the east to try this place, I went at the weekend and was very impressed by the food.

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  15. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    So the whole committee is corrupt and going to going to carry out a ‘threat’ that he’d already apologised for, sure. And no kiwi blogger gets upset in anyway with slow service on a night when things are ‘un-expectantly’ busy. Poor behaviour, but advertising nevertheless for what is an excellent restaurant.

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  16. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    igm (579 comments) says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 7:36 am
    This is indicative of the leeches that now festoon corridors of local government, none having any decency nor humility! Look at the Lecher of Auckland, a classic example.

    This is indicative of two things… the leeches that now festoon corridors of politics in this country, and of how the ‘do you know who I am’ attitude is advanced with the application of alcohol.

    Perhaps we should enforce an alcohol limit on our representatives?? (joke)

    The other issue is example … public figures, like it or not, present an example to our young… is this, and other such examples, the sort we want them to have? How do we let them know that we expect exemplary behaviour from them… or do we expect it?

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  17. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    No big deal – if reports are correct, the place was busy / meals were running late / apparently, this was explained to patrons. It happens.

    But by packing a sad because he was not given a freebie bottle of wine and then threatening the establishment he would use his ‘influence’ to prevent a liquor licence being renewed, Udy has proven beyond doubt he is not fit for office. His actions the next day (when he went back to apologise) suggest to me he’d had an ‘Oh, shit’ moment and realised how badly he’d behaved, so he went back to try and smooth the waters. Too late.

    Actions have consequences.

    There can be no question – he should be fired. No question at all.

    But then, this is an organisation led by Len Brown – what may be unacceptable behaviour to ratepayers, may be OK at Council level.

    Indeed, Brown may want to offer him a promotion! 8O

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  18. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    To be fair though… it is Auckland…

    when I lived in Auckland it was noticeable that the attitude “do you know who I am” is not confined to drunk politicians..

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  19. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Nostalgia-NZ

    Good point … unfortunately what the esteemed Mr Whaleoil either didn’t bother to find out, or didn’t stress before exaggerating the ‘realness’ was that liquor licences are controlled by three authorities… the Council, regional health, and the police.

    Is Mr Whaleoil suggesting that all those people would be stupid enough to listen to Udy? That’s a pretty big call to make.

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ RRM

    LOL – another good point, perhaps its something in the air they breathe!

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  21. Don the Kiwi (1,761 comments) says:

    He’s gotta go.

    People are elected to public office to serve the community.
    This performance indicates an attitude of expectation of favours – to be served – not to serve.

    Kick the bum out.

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  22. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    RRM (8,787 comments) says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 7:14 am
    :neutral: What planet are these people on?

    How would you even consider “requesting a free bottle of wine?”

    Unfortunate experience has shown me this is standard behaviour for Jafas.

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  23. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Slow Service
    jesus
    have you ever dealt with a Local Council on Anything anywhere in the world

    Who the hell is this to intimidate anyone on anything little power tripping scum bag

    Send a clear message to the rest of them

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  24. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    For the record:

    Liquor Licences are granted by a District Licensing Agency (Council). As part of the application, Police / ARPHS etc are asked to comment and can endorse / object to any application within 15 days of the application being submitted….. to the DLA.

    Police can object (and their objection is considered) before any decision is made.
    The local Health Organisation can object (and their objection is considered) before any decision is made.
    Any member of the public can also object (and their objection is considered) before any decision is made.

    But a Liquor Licence is granted by a District Licensing Agency (Council). Not by Police. Not by any Health Organisation. Not by any consultant. Indeed, the Council (DLA) can approve a Licence despite the wishes of Police / ARPHS.

    Even the Auckland Region Public Health Service states on their own website:
    Auckland Regional Public Health Service and the Medical Officer of Health do not issue liquor licences.

    http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/alcohol-tobacco/liquor-licensing#.UxODGU04pjo

    Sorted.

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  25. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    Alan, 07:51, the place is already on my list of never enters..

    If the management is so poor it cannot placate diners for bad service (and late meals is very bad service) it will quickly lose staff, including kitchen staff.

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  26. Dave Mann (1,222 comments) says:

    Actually DPF you are quite wrong….. this is NOT a resignation offence. It is a sacking and imprisonment offence.

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  27. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee (3,862 comments) says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 8:30 am

    That is quite correct, but all three authorities have a controlling factor as I said – they can and have take legal action against offending premises on their own account (See Wellington Regional Public Health 2003).

    I have never heard of a liquor license being granted or removed if the police do not agree. I am aware of a case where the regional health recommended that no license be granted, and it was.

    To remove a licence is a long drawn out process, it is not something that just happens with a tick on the right document. So the point remains, the ‘real threat’ never existed in this case, there are far to many things that have to happen and are approved by a number of people before there is any threat of this guys licence being revoked.

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  28. Nookin (3,345 comments) says:

    Question

    Can anyone in the industry, having received an adverse outcome on the liquor licence application, have confidence in the objectivity and impartiality of a committee of which Udy is an influential member? If the answer is “no” then he has to go.

    At the very least, 12 months off the committee is in order.

    If this was Judith Collins the shit would have hit the fan big time by now.

    People’s livelihood depend on him and is looks to have been found wanting.

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  29. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    It shouldn’t be overlooked that the complaint is not from the Restaurant but from a member of the staff, and as others have pointed out Udy’s ‘opportunity’ to interfere with the liquor licence in the future was insignificant, something which he perhaps realised and formed part of his apology. He’s still a trougher though, the family name is fairly well known in the area and from memory there is even a Udy’s road – the previous steak Restaurant behind the now unused pub ran a ‘cowboy’ theme so maybe he tied his horse up at the wrong hitching rail or accidentally spurred himself trying to scratch his butt with his ankle.

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  30. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    resignation? cant we just fire these assholes?

    but oh, he was drunk. so thats alright then. not his fault. its never anyones fault. ffs

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  31. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    The whole organisation needs to be disbanded. The top is dysfunctional and that dysfunction is clearly not contained.

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  32. Daniel (210 comments) says:

    At least we can expect the Mayor to hold this sort of disgraceful behaviour to account. Fancy trying to use your position for personal gain! No, our Mayor won’t stand for that sort of impropriety.

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  33. wreck1080 (3,918 comments) says:

    judith tolerates a certain level of corruption.

    I say none! You give a bit, and the next time is a bit off a bit…. until we have rampant corruption.

    This guy is elderly, being sacked is not going to ruin his life.But, it will certainly reinforce to others that corruption will not be tolerated.

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  34. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ (4,524 comments) says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 8:52 am
    It shouldn’t be overlooked that the complaint is not from the Restaurant but from a member of the staff

    from the account I read it's from a relative of a member of staff – an entirely different matter indeed.

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  35. Fentex (980 comments) says:

    It was NOT a ‘real’ threat.

    It is irrelevant if the person making a threat has the ability to realise it – that’s not the issue. When a thug threatens to beat you the crime doesn’t exist on the odds of your successfully defending yourself but their intention to act criminally.

    The moment this threat was made that person lost all credibility as a responsible arbiter of authority and should resign or be removed promptly.

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  36. Ed Snack (1,873 comments) says:

    Given his position on the actual licencing committee, even if it is only one of several bodies that considers applications, I now think he should resign. Public representatives need it absolutely emphasized that use of their position to threaten reprisals against (in this case) a ratepayer who is completely within the law in their actions, is completely unacceptable. For those supporting Mr Udy, do you think it is ever acceptable to threaten someone in this way, if so can you explain the circumstances that make it correct ?

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  37. notrotsky (84 comments) says:

    Used to work with Steve Udy many years ago when he was running a company called Upjohn.

    He is a talentless power hungry little twerp with a very high opinion of himself, for someone who is only about 5ft nothing, a bigger cunt you’re unlikely to ever come across. I hope he finally gets everything that’s coming to him.

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  38. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Auckland has some endemic and systemic issues around political culture.

    What is Rodney Hide doing these days?

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  39. seanmaitland (501 comments) says:

    “I don’t think requesting something off the bill for a dispute over service is out of order, restaurants often give something at no charge to compensate for a slip up. But slow service when busy is something that should be expected in a restaurant.”

    From the sounds of it, the way he asked for it was also pretty off. Its one thing asking politely, its another kettle of fish being aggressive about it, especially to the point of other customers hearing you.

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  40. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    What is Rodney Hide doing these days?

    On holiday in Europe with his Missus? ;-)

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  41. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    This shit needs to be nipped in the bud with a clear message that corruption of any degree will not be tolerated. You let this small indiscretion slide and the cancer grows. If Udy had any integrity he would have resigned already. Give him the boot and send a clear message to all the other troughers.

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  42. Nigel Kearney (1,014 comments) says:

    Len Brown has set the standard here unfortunately. If an elected official is caught doing anything less than serious criminal offending, they don’t have to resign and can instead just hang around with their nose in the trough until the three years is up.

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  43. corrigenda (142 comments) says:

    He should be sacked for the simple reason that he failed to learn from the lesson handed out to Gilmore.

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  44. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    He has to go. No excuses.

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  45. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Come on Folks how many time have pr8cks like this done this in the past and got away with it

    THIS iS A REHEARSED ROUTINE

    he wil have got “Away with this before” and stressed the CRAP out of some
    struggling small business person

    OUT OUT OUT OUT
    DO NOT PASS GO DO NOT COLLECT 200 dollars

    If he is not gone within a Week I will

    REFUSE TO PAY MY RATES UNTIL HE IS GONE

    TRUST ME I WILL BE ON THE PHONE TO COUNCIL DIRECT

    SERIOUSLY IT IS ABOUT TIME ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE NZ GOVERNMENT

    GOT A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM THE NEW ZEALAND PEOPLE

    THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    AND THAT GOES FOR YOU PARASITIC LEACHING
    ILLEGAL
    SCAMS YOU ARE COOKING UP AS WELL

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