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By Arieta Vakasukawaqa in Suva

Drunkards urinating in public, people fighting and nightclub goers passed out on the streets are usually the first things tourists arriving in Fiji through Nadi International Airport see while being taken to their hotels.

McDonalds Fiji managing director Marc McElrath highlighted this while sharing his views at a consultation for the review of the opening of nightclub hours at Suvavou House in Suva this week.

“There are 16 nightclubs in Nadi and that is a big number for a small town,” McElrath said.

He said every day around 4am, drunkards were often scattered along the streets when nightclubs closed for business.

McElrath said they had raised the issue with the police many times.

“Tourists arriving from the USA — or wherever they come from — at 6am, when they come through Martintar, it looks like they’re driving through Beirut,” he said.

“There are people knocked out on the footpaths, drunkards fighting, people punching each other, and they urinate all over the place.

“It really doesn’t look good for our tourists.

“The issue we face in Nadi is the fact that a lot of people who come out of nightclubs at around 4am to 5am are drunk and it spills out onto the streets.”

He said the police did not have the manpower to control the issue of early morning drunkards in Nadi.

“The issue is that we have 16 nightclubs with six police officers — the police are overwhelmed, there are drunk people and then fights.”

McElrath called on the authorities to consider the safety of people while reviewing the opening hours for nightclubs.

“I understand there are special zones, and I am not an expert on these hours.

“I think the hours need to be reduced in certain areas where police can’t control the overwhelming numbers.”

Arieta Vakasukawaqa is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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