Booze ban for Xmas party
The orphans at the Queenstown Bay Christmas party might have sunk their last drinks, as pressure grows to reduce intoxication in the town.
More than 1000 people partied on the beach on Christmas Day and Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said it had become a problem.
‘‘It was a mess last Christmas day and my personal view is that’s not what Christmas is about. We’re going to look at the alcohol ban period at Christmas time and move it to preChristmas,’’ he said.
However, the council also recognised that there was ‘‘a whole bunch of people who are responsible and for whom a wine on the beach on a sunny after- noon is a nice thing to do.
‘‘It’s a difficult one because council doesn’t want to become bah humbug and become the kill joy but equally we do recognise that alcohol to some sections of the community is a problem,’’ Boult said.
His comments follow concerns from Sergeant Bridget Martin, a front line police officer in Queenstown for six months who previously spent eight years on the Alcohol Harm Prevention unit, in Auckland.
Two young drivers were charged with drink driving in the early hours of Sunday morning and an intoxicated young woman was picked up by police for entering the wrong house.
‘‘It appears minor but there have been other incidents like that where it hasn’t been such a good outcome,’’ Martin said.
‘‘Again the flavour is intoxication,’’ she said. ‘‘As a community what are we really doing about it?’’
No one was hurt in the incidents but they could have been, she said.
‘‘What can we do more as a community about the level of intoxication that is acceptable here?’’
More than 1000 people celebrated an ‘‘Orphan’s Christmas’’ on the Queenstown Bay beach front last year. Inset: Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult