Taupō Work and Income employees stood down following verbal confrontation with bar staff

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Two Taupo Work and Income staff have been stood down while an investigation continues into a verbal confrontation between these employees and bar staff from Finn MacCuhal’s.

In a statement, the Ministry of Social Development says representatives have met with a number of parties today, including those involved in the incident which was partly filmed by bouncer Tamehana Thompson Tai-Rakena and uploaded to social media which generated a flurry of activity online.

Tai Rakena says that while intoxicated behaviour isn't an uncommon sight in his job, learning that the patrons were staff from the Taupo Community Link - Work and Income office was disappointing.

The short video shows racial comments being made towards the bouncer, as well as threats to personal safety.

He says, "Threatening me that I will lose my job, threatening me with gangs coming to see me at the door, not good at all and getting called all the names underneath the sun."

"The language, the personal attack was pretty bad haven't been personally attacked like that before," said Angela Condon. 

The Ministry of Social Development also says, "Work and Income will not tolerate poor behaviour or racist language, and we are taking this matter very seriously."

Mere McLean spoke with bar employees Tamehana Tai-Rakena and Angela Condon today, read more of her report here.