Pair facing charges after groups clash

Two Auckland men will end their holiday in Queenstown with a court appearance after a "minor argument" spiralled out of control early yesterday.

Senior Sergeant Paula Enoka, of Queenstown, said a 21-year-old and 25-year-old faced charges of disorderly behaviour, receiving property, using a document and possession of cannabis stemming from the incident, and were expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

The two men were part of a group of people which allegedly got into an altercation with another group not known to them.

A "scuffle" followed, during which a wallet — belonging to one of the people in the other group — was dropped.

It was allegedly picked up by the two Aucklanders, who then went shopping, Snr Sgt Enoka said.

Meanwhile, large groups converged on the Queenstown CBD on Wednesday night when there was another scuffle, involving up to 15 people from three or four different groups in Church St, Snr Sgt Enoka said.

One person was arrested for disorderly behaviour as a result.

With Covid-19 having put paid to major events in Queenstown over the past few months, Snr Sgt Enoka questioned whether large groups of tourists coming to the Wakatipu, preloading before heading to town and ending their nights with fights was ‘‘the new normal’’ in the resort.

Police had been expecting the CBD to be busier from Thursdays through to Saturdays, but it had also been packed after dark on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she said.

Some revellers had been refused entry to bars due to their level of intoxication, "but that means they’re outside the bars with nothing to do".


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