New Year celebrations canned in Canterbury

New Year celebrations have been cancelled and security will be beefed up at Lake Clearwater, in the Mid Canterbury high country, this year in an effort to curb the unruly behaviour which resulted in a number of arrests last year.

Hundreds of young people converged at the freedom camping site at Lake Camp. During the Lake Clearwater Hut Holders' traditional New Year's Eve disco, a large number of intoxicated youth went on a rampage, lighting fires, burning a car, littering and fighting.

Hoons also reportedly drove at speeds of up to 120km/h in areas designated as 50km/h zones.

Timaru police responded and a number of arrested were made, during which officers were pelted with bottles.

Spokesperson for the hut holders Andy Shearer said the decision to call off the New Year's Eve disco had been made to dissuade unsupervised youngsters from camping in the area.

"We want to reduce the amount of lawlessness and shenanigans we witnessed last year," he said.

"We had a meeting with the council and police early in the year to come up with some ideas to deal with the issue, and we've asked for an increased police presence."

The youngsters also copped the blame for leaving copious amounts of rubbish and human waste. Some dug makeshift toilets, while others defecated around the lakeside, leaving hut holders and responsible campers to clean up.

In order to combat the environmental destruction, the council has increased signage about littering around the freedom camping area and had additional rubbish skips and portable toilets installed in the area in preparation for this year's influx of campers.

"It's obviously a pristine environment up there and we want to keep it nice, but unfortunately some people just come up there and trash the joint, we are asking people to use those bins and toilets," Mr Shearer said.

"There are two aspects to it - there's the littering and damage to the environment and then there's the shenanigans which could end up with someone getting injured or possibly killed, so we've asked for an increased police presence and also the council initiatives to combat those things. We've done our bit by cancelling the celebration this year to try and break that link."

- Michelle Nelson of the Ashburton Guardian

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Wall 2 Wall Handyman ServicesMosgielPainters
Oamaru Pet SuppliesOamaruPets & Pet Accessories
South Otago Town & Country ClubBalcluthaMembers Clubs
Milton Supermarket LimitedMiltonSupermarkets