Early pass mark for partygoers

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 19:10 07/02/2014
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

The waterfront was abuzz with Wellington Sevens fans, all dressed up and one place to go.

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Sevens revellers have earned early praise for good behaviour, but as the night progresses the drunken debauchery has begun to stretch emergency services.

Two people have been arrested and one person hurt in an assault at Westpac Stadium during Wellington Sevens but police say most fans are keeping themselves in check.

The pair were arrested after assaulting a man, Inspector John Spence said.

Several others who were "grossly intoxicated" at Wellington Railway Station had been taken into police custody.

Meanwhile, 20 people have been taken to Wellington Hospital from the stadium, most of them to be treated for intoxication and three of them were in a serious condition, Wellington Free Ambulance spokesman Daniel Paul said.

One person had head injuries and another patient had leg injuries and they had been taken to hospital for X-rays, he said. 

Sevens fans were keeping ambulance and hospital staff busy and Mr Paul passed on a plea from paramedics for punters to take it easy."People should enjoy themselves but drink responsibly and sensibly."

Wellington Free Ambulance's stadium treatment centres have 120 bags of saline fluids at the ready to aid intoxicated patients.

An ambulance triage unit will be set up on Courtenay Place from tomorrow evening and the "Tory Street Hospital" - comprised of 12 beds in shipping containers in a carpark - would soak up the over-indulged.

Wellington City Council-contracted surf lifesavers are also at the ready in case fans decide to take a dip in the harbour.

Inspector John Spence, operation commander for the event, said boosted stadium security was keeping crowds reined in.

Once the crowds started their march to the Courtenay Place party precinct, revellers caught drinking in liquor ban areas could cop recently introduced "boozing ticket" infringement notices fining them $250.

Wellington's new 4am bar closing times would prove a "sea-change" compared to previous years' events for the 177 police on-shift this weekend.

"This weekend is going to be the real test," Mr Spence said. 

"It's a huge weekend for Wellington and we're just wanting everyone to have a good time, look out for their mates, and pace themselves with the alcohol."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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