Police have praised the behaviour of New Year's Eve revellers
and the weather played its part in dampening celebrations in
traditional party hot spots.
Cooler temperatures and a deluge prompted Queenstown
revellers to wear an extra layer over party clothes and
shelter under umbrellas.
However, when the blustery westerly died down, the fireworks
were able to go ahead as planned.
Queenstown police, bolstered by 45 out-of-town officers, made
34 arrests in the resort over New Year's Eve, Senior
Constable Chris Blackford said.
''[They were] predominantly for disorder and offensive-type
Dunedin police Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said police were
happy with people's behaviour. No major incidents were
recorded and festivities were comparable to those on a
''We are very happy with the result.''
In the hours leading up to 2013, Dunedin police made four
arrests, including a 52-year-old male for an assault in Pine
Hill and a 15-year-old male for disorder in the Octagon.
Police made 16 more arrests between midnight and 4am,
including a 13-year-old male for disorder in George St just
before 2am, and a 31-year-old female in Princes St at 4am,
also for disorder.
Dunedin City Council events organiser Marilyn Anderson said
that while the city's family-focused event attracted a small
number of people initially, a large walk-up crowd nudged
numbers up to 18,000-20,000.
''We are very pleased with those numbers.''
Bands entertained partygoers before attention switched to a
mass countdown and the firing of the Robbie Burns cannon at
Unlike in Wellington, where strong wind forced the
cancellation of the fireworks display, Dunedin ushered in
2013 with a bang - a $10,000 fireworks display from the Civic
''We were very pleased with how Mother Nature treated us. At
12.30am it started to spit at the request of the police, and
compared with other areas, we were very, very happy,'' Ms
Grants from the Lion Foundation and the Community Trust of
Otago helped provide additional funds to the council's
$70,000 New Year's Eve budget, Ms Anderson said.
Wanaka had a very well-behaved New Year's Eve celebration,
with just two arrests for minor offences.
Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said the good behaviour
continued a trend towards family-type celebrations ''rather
than just a party''.
Thousands of mostly young revellers braved a storming
northwesterly to listen to the live entertainment.
A liquor ban was in force through much of the commercial part
of the town and that, along with about 50 police, helped
create what Snr Sgt Grindell described as a ''positive
After a day when rain threatened to spoil proceedings, it was
not until the fireworks display just after midnight that it
Summerdaze event co-ordinator Anna McConville said
celebrations got off to a slow start because of the weather
but by midnight, 3000-4000 people were gathered on the lake
''It was a very good night. Obviously, the weather wasn't
really on our side, but it didn't really deter people from
And camping grounds around Wanaka also reported good
Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park manager Kelly Campbell said the
camp had about 400 young campers but they had not created any
Wanaka Top 10 Holiday Park lessee Patrick Perkins said the
camp had its best-behaved crowd.
He believed reduced numbers of campers and new restrictions
on young people had contributed to the good behaviour.
Woolly hats and jackets were common fashion choices at the
Clyde New Year's Eve street party as a gusty wind kept
The organisers, Promote Dunstan, blamed the weather for the
lower-than-usual turnout of about 1000 people.
Sergeant Derek Ealson said three local people were arrested
for minor disorder offences after the party.
A similar number celebrated in Naseby.
In South Otago, about 350 people braved drizzle and gathered
at the foreshore in Pounawea, with sheep racing, a barbecue
and a live band entertaining the crowd.
Nearby, at Kaka Point, a smaller crowd of about 200 gathered
around a bonfire on the beach before fireworks were let off.
Acting Sergeant Murray Hewitson, of Owaka, said
family-oriented events around South Otago gave police no
trouble, and no arrests were made.
Further south, Invercargill police made six arrests but only
one related to New Year's Eve festivities. Rain made for a
subdued night, Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes said.