Plans for Christmas and New Year in Wanaka and Queenstown will put a strong emphasis on a good time in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor Vanessa van Uden said.
In a joint statement Queenstown Police Senior Sergeant John Fookes and Mayor van Uden said the two agencies met last week to ensure all bases were covered for good, clean, fun in paradise.
“Our community guides are back on duty from Friday 21 December and will be double in numbers for New Year’s Eve, supporting a strong police presence,” Mayor van Uden said.
Senior Sergeant Fookes said an additional 55 officers would supplement existing policing in Queenstown alone with additional resource also dedicated to Wanaka. “The style of policing will be relaxed and engaging. We want people to have a great time but not at the community’s expense,” he said.
There would be zero tolerance for things like intoxication and bad behaviour. “Trust me, it’s no party seeing in the New Year in a cell or hospital detox,” he said.
Extra security guards would also man the liquor ban cordon areas in both towns, which would ramp up to be a 24/7 ban from 27 December until 6 January, 2013.
“That means that there is no drinking, other than on licensed premises in the central business districts, including parks and foreshores. These are places where we want families and visitors, young and old to have a great time and to feel safe,” Mayor van Uden said.
New closed circuit camera systems in Wanaka and Queenstown were also expected to act not only as a deterrent but also to help instil the right atmosphere. “It is quite reassuring to know that the cameras are in place. Perhaps not everyone likes to think big brother is watching but if it makes the odd idiot think twice before doing something they will regret then it’s well worth it,” Senior Sergeant Fookes said.
Council also planned to put additional resources in place to deal with extra rubbish over the period, Mayor van Uden said.
The buzz in the lead in to Christmas was already kicking in across the district, she said. “It’s an exciting time for everyone. I understand that the New Year’s Eve fireworks will be spectacular in both towns and the entertainment provided through our Summerdaze programme looks great. All that people have to do is enjoy it,” Mayor van Uden said.