31 Dec 2012

Queenstown and Wanaka gear up for NY celebrations

7:27 pm on 31 December 2012

Police in Queenstown and Wanaka say they are well prepared to cope with tens of thousands of revellers on New Year's Eve.

Police in Queenstown said about 50 extra officers will be brought in from Dunedin and Invercargill to help local officers cope with the 50,000 people expected to see in the New Year in the town.

As in other previous trouble hotspots, disorder in Queenstown has reduced markedly since the introduction of a New Year's Eve alcohol ban in the town.

Senior Sergeant John Fookes said entertainment is family focused and he isn't expecting too many problems.

Police in Wanaka said they are well prepared to cope with New Year's Eve celebrations.

Arrests for disorder have dropped dramatically since alcohol bans were put in place on New Year's Eve some years ago, despite Wanaka's population swelling to six times its normal size.

Senior Sergeant Alan Grindle said his officers have met the managers running the seven hotels and camping grounds and talked over with them a plan to deal with unruly revellers.

The annual rodeo is also on and there are family-oriented events at a number of hotels.

Police said there have been no major problems so far, but liquor bans in the public areas of both Wanaka and Queenstown will be strictly enforced.