Be wary of after-ball parties - police

CAITLIN PORTER AND GRACE CABELL
Last updated 05:00 21/06/2014
School ball dress
STACY SQUIRES/Fairfax NZ
HAVING A BALL: Dressmaker John Mee, of Pretty Things Ltd, fits Lincoln High School student Sarah Watkins, 16, with a gown for this year’s school ball.

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Christchurch's school ball season is in full swing and so are the after-parties.

Rural parties are the most concern to police, who this week issued a public warning to ball-goers and their parents to be wary about after-ball parties.

Senior Sergeant Gordon Spite said police had "major issues" with disorder and intoxication at several after-ball events last year, particularly those held on temporary premises in rural locations.

Shirley Boys' High School deputy principal Tony Ambrose said the school did not condone after-parties, and usually found out if they had been organised.

The school has not advertised this year's ball after it had problems with gate-crashers last year.

This week The Press reported police were promoting the monitored Goodone.org.nz website to pupils for the ball season.

The party register site was originally aimed at university students, but has already been used by at least one Christchurch parent who hosted her daughter's after-party.

Police have reminded parents that new legislation requires those aged under 18 to have "express consent" from caregivers to be supplied with alcohol.

The White Elephant Trust, which runs Christchurch After-ball Party Services, was approached a week ago by pupils looking to use the alcohol-free function space for an unofficial school after-party tonight.

Chief executive Nathan Durkin said the trust did not take the booking because it could not organise sufficient security at such short notice.

Phil Anderson, organiser for events company Inflatablez: The Cube, said this year would be the company's last for after-parties.

"It's far too stressful," he said.

DRESS FOR LESS

Ball glamour comes at a price for girls who can expect to pay hundreds for their dress, hair, tan and make-up.

Retailers said buying a dress in store would set pupils back $150 to $500, and many girls were shopping online to seek out designer brands for less.

One student said she sourced her dress from Hong Kong for $190 online, while another bought her one at an online boutique for $70.

Trade Me has more than 3000 dresses listed under the search term "ball dress", with buy-now prices ranging from $10 to $800

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- The Press

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