Scuffles as Queenstown faces boozy 'new normal'

Two Auckland men will end their holiday in Queenstown with a court appearance after a "minor argument" spiralled early this morning.

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

The two men were part of one group which allegedly got into an altercation with another group of people, 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.

More 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, on Church St.

One person was arrested for disorderly behaviour as a result, Snr Sgt Enoka said.

While Covid-19 had put paid to major events in Queenstown over the last few months, Snr Sgt Enoka questioned if large groups coming to the Wakatipu, pre-loading before heading town, and ending their nights with fights was "the new normal" in the resort.

She said while police were expecting town to be busier from Thursdays through to Saturdays, instead the CBD had been packed after dark on Tuesday and Wednesdays as well.

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

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