A regular diner at Napier RSA's restaurant says her family was surprised to be told her husband is no longer welcome at the venue because of his facial gang tattoo.
Berta Harrison-Ratima and her family have dined there for more than a decade with no problem.
Hawke's Bay Today understands her husband, Malcolm Ratima, is not an active gang member, but the tattoo is now unacceptable at the RSA under new rules and conditions, which Ratima and his family learned about when they turned up at the restaurant to eat.
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Harrison-Ratima said she had been an RSA member for more than 12 years and dined at the club's restaurant, Norfolk Lodge Restaurant, at least three to four times a week.
She had wanted to be part of the RSA as her grandfather served in World War II.
"Never before was my husband's tattoos ever an issue," Harrison-Ratima said on social media.
She said her and her husband visited the restaurant last month for lunch but were asked to leave because the duty manager - who she said they had seen on a weekly basis - said Ratima's tattoo was offensive.
"She [the duty manager] also told us customers feel intimidated by people like us," the post read.
Harrison-Ratima said that they had never caused any trouble and were told that the solution was to cover up the tattoo.
"We've always been good customers, never complained about anything," she said.
Napier RSA confirmed they had recently updated their "Conditions of Entry" policy - which includes not allowing persons on to the premises who have gang insignia of any sort, including facial tattoos.
In a statement the RSA said they reserved the right to be able to enforce a change to their policy.
"A licensed premise has the right to change and enforce an entry policy at any point, as long as it doesn't breach the Human Rights Act."
In regards to Ratima's family being turned away, they said the club was just following the new policy but were also apologetic for how the situation unfolded.
"The persons were asked to leave as they did not meet the new conditions of entry policy.
"We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused but we are legally able to enforce this policy to ensure the club continues with the standards expected of us."
The national RSA body did not wish to comment as they felt it was a matter for the Napier club to decide.
Apart from the incident Harrison-Ratima said they were still thankful to the club for how welcome they felt being part of the club and the great hospitality they received.
"However apart from the above statement, my husband and I would like to thank the rest of the staff in the restaurant who have always made us feel welcome.
"Over the years and getting to know you all, thank you guys for your awesome hospitality."