Holiday mayhem in Queenstown

Queenstown Lakes District Council staff repair damage to flower beds in the Queenstown Gardens.
Queenstown Lakes District Council staff repair damage to flower beds in the Queenstown Gardens.

Holidaymakers visiting Queenstown to see in the New Year are causing more than a few headaches for emergency services, council staff and business owners.

Ten men were arrested overnight for a variety of offences, mostly in the form of anti social behaviour, and police are still looking for those responsible for destroying flower beds in the iconic Queenstown Gardens.

One group of New Year's Eve revellers got a stern talking to after let off fireworks from the balcony of their hostel, scaring many people on the streets below, after 10am.

Base backpackers manager Rich Deane said the fireworks had been let off by some young kiwi men staying in a room at the hostel.

The men were all about to check out but if they hadn't been they would have been evicted, he said.

''We can't have people letting off fireworks out into the street,'' he said.

A woman and her two young daughters, who had been sitting on a bench near the hostel, said they thought the noise was  gunshots nearby.

However, they soon noticed a man standing on the balcony laughing and realised fireworks were being fired directly above them.

''I did not realise Queenstown was going to be so busy. Our camp ground is so full of young people, it is good for them but not for us and our family so we are leaving today to go to Tekapo,'' she said.

A Queenstown police spokesperson confirmed they received complaints about the incident but had not attended.

Senior constable Chris Blackford said police were investigating after more than 100 plants were ripped out of flower beds in the gardens last night.

Queenstown Lakes District Council staff worked frantically this morning to try and save the plants which were found strewn across the grass and paths near the band rotunda.

Most of those ripped out were bedding plants but some nearby roses were also damaged. A rock wall on a nearby path leading into Queenstown was also damaged.

Police opposed bail for two men who appeared in Queenstown District Court this morning.

The first man, a 21-year-old from Auckland who lives in Christchurch was arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour, wilful damage and breach of bail.

The other was a 17-year-old Gore man who was arrested and charged with burglary, wilful damage and possession of instrument for conversion.

In other arrests overnight, an 18-year-old Oamaru man was arrested at 10.35pm for setting off the fire alarm at Base backpackers and is expected to appear in court on January 7.

t 11.25pm a 21-year-old Christchurch man and a 22-year-old Ashburton man were arrested for offensive behaviour when they were caught urinating on the Sofitel Hotel in Duke St.

Five minutes later a 20-year-old Christchurch man was arrested for breaching the liquor ban in Rees St after he was offered the chance to tip his alcohol out by police and refused to comply.

A 21-year-old Irishman, living in Christchurch, was arrested for the same offence at 1.49am. He was also offered the opportunity to dispose of the alcohol rather than be arrested and refused.

Police also arrested three men after 3am for abusing members of the public and charged them all with disorderly behaviour.

A 21-year-old Christchurch man at 3.15am in Beach St, a 27-year-old Dunedin man at 3.31am in Brecon St and a 19-year-old Arrowtown man in Camp St at 4.35am.

In other reports, a man was seen masturbating by a woman in Fryer St at 1.35am this morning but ran off when her flatmates went outside to speak to him.

A 22-year-old Arrowtown woman crashed into a one lane bridge on the Paradise Rd near Glenorchy at 4.50pm yesterday.

Mr Blackford said she noticed another vehicle on the bridge and hit the brakes but hit the side of the bridge. The woman did not sustain any injuries.

The Southland Times