It’s no secret that the majority of New Zealand doormen are natural born shitheads; this recent Christchurch incident simply reinforces that consensus.
Most of the men tasked with manning the thresholds of the country’s bars and clubs are essentially thugs for hire; little prior training or knowledge of the industry they’re supposedly guarding is needed and in fact the defining requisite these men do appear to flaunt is a lust for power and a boundless passion for exerting just that.
Granted these people have a job to do: they have the security of the premises to their rear and the safety of the public kissing their rear to uphold; yet it’s the way many of these so called security staff parade about with a flagrant sense of pomposity, as though their position standing outside a licensed establishment makes them somehow better than all the people on the inside or, more to the point, exiting said premises, that I find infuriating.
During my time as a frequenter of Christchurch nightclubs I encountered many doormen. Some of these were great people who, while keeping an eye out for disharmony among revellers, loved nothing more than to partake in banter among patrons while ensuring that everyone in the vicinity was kept happy and safe. Most though, an upsettingly large portion that is, of Christchurch doormen, according to what I saw and nothing more, rather than having general well-being at the fore of their collective mind, were more intent on seeking out minor drunken transgressions and apprehending then agitating the ‘offender’ until he (invariably it was ‘he’) either said something inflammatory or, in the worst cases, attempted to assault the bouncer, where this dick-faced doorman would then execute some sort of hold on him, wrestle him to the ground and sometimes, conclude the effort by standing on his neck or face; grinning stupidly while his bouncer buddies looked on.
Occasionally I saw this fail, saw the drunken idiot manage to escape the bouncer’s grasp and try to abscond; in this instance it was the bouncer’s buddies who would step in and bring back the wounded prey in the hope of restoring the pride of the alpha male.
That’s what I saw and that was around a decade ago. Who knows, things might have changed since then; I doubt it though.
It was nice to see in this recent Christchurch episode that after holding a rear-naked chokehold on the man for far longer than was necessary; on dumping the body on the pavement and preparing to leave the scene then looking up and seeing that he was being filmed, the bouncer in question promptly returned to the unconscious figure and flipped him into a half-arsed Recovery Position.
Apparently this drunken dude had only minutes earlier “made death threats” towards security staff so, you know.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Duncan Fowler
Photography by A R Swipe-Derrmann