Southern police arrested 22 people in the six hours before
midnight on New Year's Eve, largely for alcohol-fuelled
Those arrests included an assault on police, resisting
arrest, disorder and breach of liquor bans, which kept police
busy, Southern District deployment co-ordinator Steve Aitken
Both Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin were busy for emergency
In Dunedin the first arrest was for an intoxicated reveller
in the Octagon around 8pm.
In one of the more serious incidents of the night, an
unconscious man was found on Hillside Rd around 11pm.
He was taken to Dunedin Hospital with suspected head
A large walk-up crowd saw thousands of people flock to the
Octagon to catch the live entertainment.
That included the firing of the Robbie Burns cannon at
midnight followed by a fireworks display from the Civic
Brawls and an out-of-control party had Wanaka police
scrambling to keep up in the early part of the evening with
four incidents in the space of an hour between 7.30pm and
Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said
there were two brawls in the street near residential
One person was arrested for obstructing police and resisting
Police then responded to a complaint from a local motel where
under 18s were "partying up and out of control" and some were
refusing to leave.
An ambulance was called for one female who was very
Police then made another arrest just before 9pm at the Wanaka
Lakeview Holiday Park.
Overall six arrests were made before midnight.
"The way it started ... it certainly had some bad vibes,
being called to two big fights and two other incidents but it
certainly calmed down after that," Snr Sgt Grindell said.
Police working at Rhythm and Alps festibal said there was a
"good mood" there and no trouble.
Emergency services in Queenstown were kept busy with petty
offences and minor injuries, then had to contend with tens of
thousands of people leaving Earnslaw Park at once when the
midnight fireworks ended.
The Otago Daily Times witnessed one fight break out
between two young men on the Queenstown Village Green at
10pm. One man was pinned to the ground by a doorman while his
associates looked on and police arrived.
St John Queenstown ambulances struggled to attend medical
emergencies through the mass of people. Paramedics were
escorted by police to scenes of apparent trauma, including
the jetty, moments after 2014 began.
The ODT saw officers call one young woman carrying a glass of
alcohol on Church St over to the squad car and explain she
was in breach of the liquor ban. The woman poured out her
drink and went on her way.
A young man caught police attention as he urinated against
the flood-lit wall of Night 'n Day on Camp St, opposite the
police station, and was spoken to by an officer.
Police kept a watchful eye on a commercially organised party
of about 50 backpackers, lead by a man using a megaphone, as
they congregated outside Base Queenstown on lower Shotover
St, then crossed the street towards Earnslaw Park before
After the fireworks, the marshalled queue at the taxi rank
stretched for more than 20m along Camp St as people headed
for hotels, hostels or homes.
The year 2013 was played out by a Queenstown band on stage on
Earnslaw Park performing Honky Tonk Woman by the Rolling
Stones. After the fireworks, the first song they played in
2014 was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. - James Beech