Fight and flight at Stewart Island New Year’s fracas

Rostered to patrol New Year’s Eve on Stewart Island, two southern police officers were prepared for some action — just not the type they found.

Stewart Island’s sole charge officer, Constable Stuart Newton, and Sergeant Ian Martin, of Invercargill, were conducting a mobile patrol at Horseshoe Bay Rd about 2am on January 1 when they saw "two locals" involved in a fracas at the side of the road.

The officers monitored them until one of the males noticed their presence and immediately stopped fighting.

"Both fled in opposite directions," Const Newton said.

The next day, the two officers told the story to Rakiura residents who were curious, and then surprised to find out the two males were two male kiwis.

"It was really funny. Everybody was trying to guess who they were.

"It was quite a surreal and humorous beginning to the year."

Const Newton said he had lived on the island for almost three years, but it was the first time he had seen something like that.

He said Sgt Martin was "in awe" at what he had just witnessed.

"I remained seated in the police ute, amazed that just Sgt Martin's presence was sufficient to quell the males' testosterone-fuelled melee."

Sgt Martin said both officers were prepared for any kind of incident.

"We usually attend fights, but not like this one.

"It was a great experience and at least all humans were well-behaved."

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