Have fun; be careful with alcohol: police
Have a fantastic New Year but do not let alcohol make you do something stupid - that was the message from Nelson Senior Sergeant Bob Burns, who said police will be taking a hard line with disorderly people on New Year's Eve.
He said at least 30 people had been arrested since Christmas Eve for disorderly behaviour, with almost all cases involving alcohol.
"We want everyone to have a great time but sometimes alcohol can make people do things they would not mormally do," he said. "Everyone should see the New Year in and we do not want any violence or stupidity."
Up to 60 police will be on duty tomorrow with drink-driving stations placed around the Nelson Bays area. Trafalgar St and Bridge St will be closed off and an alcohol ban has been imposed in the central city. The highlight of the evening will be a fireworks display at midnight at Tahunanui Beach.
In Motueka, Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews said it would be "business as usual" for the police this New Year. There would be a full complement of police stationed at Mapua, Motueka, and Kaiteriteri, he said.
Those at Kaiteriteri would be enforcing an alcohol ban on the beach from Little Kaiteriteri to Breaker Bay, to allow families to enjoy the New Year celebrations free of alcohol.
Many staff would be ensuring The Gathering ran smoothly in Golden Bay, but those in Motueka would monitor disorderly behaviour, breath-testing and domestic situations.
Mr Andrews said speed on the roads had been more of a concern than alcohol in the Motueka area, with people rushing to get to their holdiday destinations. He advised a commonsense approach to festivities this year. "Have a good time, keep safe, and do not drink too much," he said.
Golden Bay Visitor Information Centre supervisor Laura Allen said a lot of people had arrived in Takaka last night and this morning with a lot of extra cars in town. Gatherers added to the regular holiday makers in the area packing the streets, she said.
Ms Allen said she was expecting a trouble-free New Year with the only difficulty she envisioned being a lack of camping space after the Gathering if the weather was good and people wanted to stay.
Live music was being staged around the area until January 6, including bands from the Gathering and this would also encourage people to stay, she said.