Yes folks, you read correctly.
Leading on from the claims he made last week accusing Progressive of ‘aggressively’ appealing the council’s rejection of their request to update their liquor license Countdown’s legal team quickly sent the council an official request for more information to support this allegation.
As you may recall Countdown issued a statement in response to the original blog post addressing the issue after it was first reported, stating that they were simply trying to comply with new licensing laws and wished to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, being surprised by Mayor Tregidga’s reaction.
Now he has reacted again declaring himself “gobsmacked” after being contacted by Progressive’s legal team following the press release.
Did he think he was wearing the esteemed cloak of Parliamentary Privilege and therefore could speak without being asked to clarify his statement? What did he expect?
Mayor Tregidga has been involved in local politics for the past 30 years and has been Mayor of Hauraki district for 9 years. Prior to his current role he was acting deputy Mayor from 1989 until 2004.
He is also a strong advocate against domestic violence and appears to be held in high esteem by his constituents.
But why an attack solely aimed at Countdown? What about the major liquor chains who are also appealing the current licensing restrictions?
As of yet it is unclear exactly what part of the LAP Countdown is appealing. The misreporting in the original story last week inferred that they wished to extend the hours under which they could sell alcohol which in turn logically points to a desire to extend opening hours.
However as per Countdown’s statement they are not applying to challenge the hours but retain hours set by government. Changes to laws (as of 18 December 2013) have made it necessary for Countdown to take steps in order to ensure that they remain compliant and they merely wish to work alongside the Hauraki council so that they may achieve this.
Understandably they were not able to elaborate further as the issue is currently under investigation by their team.
So why is Mayor Tregidga only targeting Countdown and not major liquor outlets? And why his defensive reaction when asked to provide more information about the actions allegedly undertaken at this meeting? He appears not to want to have to front up with proof – but when you’re not safe behind the apron strings of PP the person or company you accuse has the right to respond.