13 arrests during Christmas in the Park
Thirteen people were arrested at Auckland’s Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, despite low turnout due to bad weather.
Organisers estimated only about 10,000 turned out for the annual event at the Auckland Domain on Saturday evening, down from as many as 100,000 in previous years.
Police said most of the arrests were for alcohol and disorderrelated charges.
Four of those arrested were juveniles - under 17-years-old - and another 10 youths were taken home by police or had their parents called.
A police spokesman said there was a very low turnout due to the bad weather, but despite this, offending was still high.
‘‘Staff still had to deal with numerous jobs mainly that of of juveniles displaying gang colours, in terms of disorder and minor offending; so just youth groups causing some issues there.’’
He said a high police presence was maintained throughout the event, and more than 70 officers were stationed on trains around the city.
He said most of those arrested were were released on bail on Sunday morning.
Punters spoke out about their disappointment after attending this year’s event.
Epsom resident Allana Dunn wrote on Neighbourly that the event was missing Christmas songs and carols.
‘‘It has turned into a showcase for failed NZ’s Got Talent performers playing their own music,’’ she wrote.
‘‘It has lost the family appeal now.’’
Others complained that the lack of parking had turned them off the event.
Mt Roskill resident Arlene McLellan said in the past the event felt like a ‘‘celebrity party’’.
‘‘I went last year and it just didn’t feel like it had the Christmas spirit.’’
Despite this, many agreed that highlight was the annual fireworks display at the end of the show.
Christmas in Park was first held in 1994 at Auckland Domain on a 15m stage on the cricket pavilion.
This year’s edition was dubbed as being the biggest yet with a brand new high tech stage, one of the largest ever designed and built in New Zealand.
Stan Walker fronted the line up and was joined by New Zealand performers Tami Nielson, Vince Harder, Lavina Williams, Barry Conrad and Nyree Huyser.
This year’s Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, held at the Auckland Domain, experienced low turnout thanks to the weather