16 May 2010

Principal says he tried to stop illegal after-ball party

5:49 pm on 16 May 2010

The principal of Pakuranga College in East Auckland is rejecting claims the school was complicit in an under-age after-ball party shut down by authorities.

Hundreds of students from Pakuranga College went to the function to follow the school's annual ball which finished at midnight on Saturday.

The unlicensed and unofficial party was to be held in an empty warehouse in Onehunga from midnight.

However, inspectors from the licensing agency and police arrived at the party before the students. A van full of alcohol driven by a student's parents, was twice sent away.

An inspector from the Manukau District Licensing Agency, Paul Radich, says schools in the area give the contact details of unlicensed after ball parties to students.

But Pakuranga College's principal, Mike Williams says he did everything in his power to stop the party after he heard about it.

He says on Friday he emailed parents telling them the police were going to clamp down and that it was illegal.

Mr Williams says the email also informed parents of the penalties such as fines or even the possibility of prison sentences for organisers if the event went ahead.

Mr Williams says he's glad the police and agency took the action they did.

It was the first such intervention by the agency, which says it will continue to target after-ball parties until they are all alcohol-free.