Mulvihill was ordered to pay a total of $15,000 in fines and costs at the Timaru District Court for not taking all reasonably practicable steps to ensure nobody smoked in his bar.
But the pub owner said today that people from all over the country had been calling and offering to help pay the fine. Donations now stood at $4000 to $5000.
“They (donors) said they were pleased with the stand and to keep going. Because I haven’t finished yet — as you can imagine. It’s not over yet, it’s just the first round,”
He said he was not going to appeal his sentence, but had “other ways of attacking” the legislation. He declined to reveal his plans.
Mulvihill was the first publican to be tried under the Smokefree Environment Act which came into effect on December 10, 2004.
He argued that it was up to individuals to choose whether or not to smoke in bars, saying: “I’m standing up for the people of New Zealand’s basic freedom of rights.”
I’ve got to confess a slight personal connection here. My wife has known the Mulvihill family since childhood. She says that Geoff has always been a bit of a rebel and is a local “legend”. He is a great guy from a great family.
We need to encourage people like Geoff Mulvihill. I’d rather have one battler like him around than a 100 pious little Health Department pricks, or some condescending “beak” who thinks its OK to slug a man $9,000, for trying to stand up for his rights.
Ring up the Carlton Hotel in Timaru and give Geoff a message of support. Better yet send him a donation
Definition of Fascism
A system of government that allows private “ownership” of property but dictates how that property may be used.