When bar owner Luke Revell found himself in the midst of a Saturday night altercation, it led to a new security measure not previously seen in Whangārei's nightlife.
Revell runs the Butter Factory. From this weekend, patrons will be required to show proof of identity and be photographed before they can enter.
The decision had been in the works for a few weeks but Revell's close proximity to the death of Haze Peihopa, 23, last weekend pushed him that final step.
He was in his ute at the Bank St lights close to midnight, heading for a nearby petrol station.
As Revell waited for the lights to change, an altercation at the intersection spilled into the road. Alarmed, he said he started reversing before then shifted the car to drive to escape.
When Revell returned from the petrol station, he saw CPR being performed on the victim. Peihopa's life could not be saved. A 20-year-old man has been charged with murder.
In the days that followed, Revell prepared to put into action the Patronscan system ordered a few weeks earlier. Nicknamed "Stan" by staff, it is the first of its kind in Whangārei.
Revell's first steps included telling patrons through social media with a post that offered "condolences to the friends and family of the young man whom passed away as well as all those that witnessed the event".
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He went on to explain that incidents in the central city, which had led to concern over the safety of patrons and staff, meant the bar was "taking appropriate measures to keep everyone in the premise as safe as possible".
Punters were told "Stan" would be used for the first time this weekend, allowing staff to scan IDs and photograph patrons. The system also allowed bars to note whether someone has been banned or flagged from other premises.
The system's first official night will be Saturday for DJ Ben Snow but a trial run would take place at tomorrow night's gig featuring the Jordan Luck Band.
Revell's intent was to keep the information for two days before deleting it.
"There were concerns about us holding people's information, which I completely understand but we went back to the pros and cons and decided to only use it every so often."
The system would only be used on nights deemed to be high-risk and scanned New Zealand driver licences, passports and 18-plus Kiwi Access cards. Those who refuse to have their ID scanned would be refused entry.
Revell said he and his staff were no strangers to violence with most incidents of abuse at the bar happening at the entrance. His fact-finding efforts before getting the system had turned up a bar in Napier that reduced incidents of trouble by half.
His Facebook post introducing Stan had generated hundreds of comments with the majority in favour and commending the bar for being proactive in helping keep the community safe.
Revell said he hoped other bars would also get the system because it allowed information swapping between venues.
However, around the road, Brauhaus Frings owner Gary Woodham said he wouldn't be getting on board.
"A lot of my patrons would just refuse and say, 'Bugger that'. I think it's a great idea but it's also a bit invasive, if you ask me."