A Viaduct bar owner is planning to hold a level 2 party with 100 of his friends during the first weekend of level 2.

Leo Molloy told Newstalk ZB's Heather Du Plessis-Allan that those attending the central Auckland bash were "friends of Headquarters and personal friends of mine".

Among those on the guest list are National's deputy leader Paula Bennett, former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry and Destiny Church's Brian and Hannah Tamaki, Auckland MP Nikki Kaye, Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere, band members from True Bliss and former MP Hone Harawira.

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While cafes, schools, gyms, hairdressers, retail stores, restaurants, and other public spaces have been given the green light to re-open from Thursday, bars need to wait a further 10 days before they can re-open.


Gatherings have been capped at 10 people and no more than 100 people are allowed in venues at one time. All require physical distancing.
Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

But Molloy says he's confident the party is within the rules and police appeared to be comfortable with his approach.

Guests will be temperature-checked at the door and required to supply their names, addresses, and phone numbers.

A bouncer will patrol the dance floor ensuring partygoers stand 1m apart, kissing will be banned and police will do spot checks to make sure people follow the rules.

"We have created bubbles - we've spoken to some people who we consider to be key players and said, 'You create your own bubble, your maximum number is 10', which you're allowed to do now," he told Du Plessis-Allan.

"They'll have written directives on their tables and we have a DJ with a microphone, he'll be reminding people.

"Certainly the type of clientele that we attract, they tend to act with a modicum of decorum in a civilised fashion."

A police officer talks with Headquarters Bar owner Leo Molloy at the bar in the Auckland Viaduct. Photo / Dean Purcell
A police officer talks with Headquarters Bar owner Leo Molloy at the bar in the Auckland Viaduct. Photo / Dean Purcell

Earlier this month, the Herald reported that Molloy was liaising with Auckland Central Area Commander Inspector Gary Davey and the Liquor Licensing Agency to ensure the private bash could go ahead on May 15, which happened to be the date of the restaurant's third birthday.


Molloy told Du Plessis-Allan that he had invited police to attend the celebration, but was told they would not attend.

"I expect we'll see them, but I don't think they're going to have any sort of a lingering presence here," he said.

Karyn Malthus, Auckland City District Commander Superintendent, said police have not approved any parties or events that would breach alert level 2 rules.

"Auckland Police do not and will not support Headquarters or any establishment, opening and operating in contravention of alert level 2 requirements," she said.

"In advance of level 2, police have been taking an education-led approach, by engaging with individuals and organisations across the country to make sure people understand the new restrictions, and that businesses and organisations are operating safely and in accordance with the guidelines."

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Malthus said that police, together with Auckland Council, had been working with hospitality business owners, including Headquarters management, to ensure their plans to re-open at the lowered alert level were carried out safely.

Molloy said that with each cancellation - at least 15 in the last two days - keen attendees popped up to replace them.

"For every person who has declined, we've had two more say, 'Can we come?' or 'Can we expand our bubble?' So I'll have no problem getting the numbers, trust me."