Raft of arrests

A total of 24 arrests were made in Queenstown between 5pm on New Year's Eve and 7am on New Year's Day.

Senior Sergeant John Fookes, of Queenstown, said the arrests were predominantly for disorderly behaviour, intoxication, drink-driving and breach of the liquor ban and the number was ''certainly within the range we would expect''.

Despite the intoxication level being ''pretty high'' Snr Sgt Fookes said the crowd, a mix of internal and overseas tourists, ''was actually pretty well-natured''. Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, said ordinarily 10 police officers of various ranks would be on duty, but nearly 70 were working on New Year's Eve, including 45 out-of-town officers.

A Christchurch man was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis for supply.

Snr Const Blackford said when police searched a parked vehicle on Park St they found ''a large quantity'' of cannabis, plastic ziplock bags and a ''large amount of cash''.

The man was bailed to a Christchurch address to appear in the Queenstown District Court on January 7. Snr Const Blackford said eight people ''were brought to the station because they were drunk to an extent where they could not look after themselves''. There were numerous breaches of the 24-hour liquor ban that runs from December 27 to January 6 each year.

A 21-year-old Christchurch man was arrested in relation to disorderly behaviour on Beach St at 3.15am, and a 27-year-old Dunedin man was arrested in relation to disorderly behaviour on Brecon St at 3.31am.

A 19-year-old Arrowtown man was arrested for disorderly behaviour on Camp St at 4.35am. Revellers were generally well-behaved in North Otago, with hotels full but no disorder-related arrests reported.

Detective Warren Duncan, of Oamaru, said temporary liquor bans had been working well in the area, including Otematata and Omarama.

Police had escorted three groups of youngsters home to their parents in Otematata on New Year's Eve after they had been found in public places with alcohol, Det Duncan said.

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