Bouncer filmed stomping on the head of man has worked for years without the appropriate licence, despite a warning and police objections
The bouncer who stomped on the head of a man outside a Wellington bar never held the required licence for the job and received a formal warning in 2014 for working without one.
The Department of Internal Affairs is now investigating bouncer Pavali Logovae, and Boston on Blair bar, for potential breaches of the law, as a result of the February 28 incident.
A man was taken to hospital with moderate injuries following an altercation involving Logovae outside the Blair St bar in the central city.
Footage posted on social media showed the man, who had been denied entry, punched Logovae in the face and was then taken to the ground by Logovae and other security staff.
While on the ground, Logovae stomped on the man’s head and pushed a patio-style heater on top of him, injuring bystander Kate Te Tau who required stitches as a result.
Police are investigating, but no arrests have been made.
Detective Senior Sergeant Haley Ryan said they had identified a man believed to be responsible for the assault, which Stuff understands is Logovae, but after numerous attempts to speak with him he “continues to remain elusive”.
Logovae told Stuff he hadn’t responded because he had the right to silence and felt like he was going to be framed if he spoke to police.
Under New Zealand law, in order to be a bouncer or conduct event security, a crowd controller licence, a Certificate of Approval (COA), is required.
These licences are issued following training and criminal checks by the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority (PSPLA), which sits under the Ministry of Justice.
Complaints against security operators can be made to the authority which then assesses the complaint under the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010.
If appropriate, complaints are then directed to the Department of Internal Affairs to investigate.
A spokeswoman confirmed its Complaints, Investigation, and Prosecution Unit was investigating potential breaches of the Act, which had come to light as a result of the assault.
A Ministry of Justice document regarding a complaint about Logovae’s licence, seen by Stuff, states there is no record of Logovae ever holding a certificate, after applying for one in 2011.
It was declined as police objected.
“There was a previous complaint that Mr Logovae was working as a crowd controller without a licence or certificate in 2014. The complaint was established, and Mr Logovae was given a formal warning,” it said.
Logovae told Stuff he applied for a licence and was issued a temporary one, but was then told it was a mistake.
He said he had worked at Boston on Blair for about eight years and his bosses knew he did not have the appropriate licence. He now feared he would face a fine.
The ministry said those found working without a certificate could face fines of up to $20,000.
Kate Te Tau needed stitches to her lip after being hit by a heater which was pushed over by Logovae during an altercation with a man who punched him.
Boston on Blair manager Jordan Mills said he employed Kings Security to provide licenced guards.
Logovae said he started up Kings Security awhile ago, but it didn’t have a security licence.
Bruce Findlay, of the Ministry, said the Act required bar owners to ensure all bouncers or crowd controllers they employed had valid certificates or licences.
“It is an offence under Section 45 of the act for a bar owner to engage a crowd controller who does not hold a valid certificate.”
New Zealand Security Association CEO Gary Morrison said he had concerns regarding those providing security at bars and clubs who didn’t hold the necessary licences.
They had been provided information in regard to unlicensed operators in Wellington over recent months and had forwarded that information to the licensing authority and internal affairs.
Wellington security provider First Contact director Darryl Stonnell had worked in security for more than 30 years and said the industry as a whole needed work.
“In Wellington, there are numerous people who are operating outside the law, but then there are a ton of people who are doing it right.
“The biggest mistake right now is to not do anything about what happened. There are rules in place, all they need to do is be enforced,” he said.
In late 2019, an audit was conducted of 10 Wellington bars, selected by police, for security and liquor licensing compliance checks.
Written warnings were issued to five of the venues which had unlicensed security staff.
“Information sheets were provided to all venues visited – as part of our educational and awareness approach on our compliance checks,” an internal affairs spokesperson said.
Further follow-up checks were planned for 2020 but didn’t occur due to Covid-19 lockdowns and the redeployment of staff to assist with the all-of-government response.
Depending on resources, proactive compliance checks were carried out annually across the country at about 4-6 venues.
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