The NZ First MP behind a “values” bill which could expel migrants was once judged unfit to run pubs because of his criminal record.
Clayton Mitchell wants new migrants to sign up to a cultural “code of conduct” that includes a commitment not to campaign against the legality of alcohol.
Mitchell is a former publican – but his licence to run a bar was cancelled after a series of incidents. They included a suspended prison sentence for assault – which a judge called an act of serious violence – and a dangerous driving conviction.
An assault which involves serious violence is not a good thing.
Two years later, Mitchell won back his certificate – supported by a reference from former police officer Brad Shipton, who was subsequently disgraced over a rape conviction.
Brad Shipton as a character reference – yeah, nah.
The second term MP initially didn’t want to be interviewed by Stuff. “Is this one of your dirty little stories? You better get your facts right, because I tell you what, you better get your facts right or you’ll get yourself in a hell of a lot of trouble,” he said.
This is not the recommended response for MPs, when media ask them about their background.
In a subsequent response to emailed questions, however, he acknowledged:
* A conviction of assault with intent to injure in what a judge described as an “act of serious violence on your part.”
* A conviction for dangerous driving.
* A conviction for a “lock-in” at one of his bars – allowing customers to drink outside of the licensed hours.
Mitchell, 46, didn’t attend the 1998 hearing that saw his general manager’s certificate cancelled by the the Liquor Licensing Authority. He was in Australia – and his absence was heavily criticised by the authority.
He’d been running Straight Shooters bar, on Tauranga’s Wharf Street. Local police – unhappy after a string of late-night incidents – asked the authority to cancel his general manager’s certificate on the grounds: “That the conduct of the manager is such as to show that he is not a suitable person to hold the certificate.”
The bar sounded rather interesting. A previous story reported:
Before entering politics, Mitchell made local headlines in December 2009 when his Hamilton bar, the Bahama Hut, was forced to close for a week because of two promotions – Funtastic Fridays and Super Saturdays – that gave punters unlimited drinks for a six-hour period for as little as $39.
There was also some controversy over leprechaun-curling competitions at another of his pubs, the Mount Mellick, where a vegetable oil-covered dwarf would be propelled along a 6m polythene sheet.
Very insensitive of him to label a dwarf a leprechaun. They’re very different species.