Revellers in from the cold
Forty dance-party revellers were evacuated from The Gathering on Takaka Hill after showing the early signs of hypothermia.
Gathering publicist Alison Green said three days of constant rain had meant those constantly dancing outside got very cold. "All those we thought were at risk were bundled on to a bus and sent to Motueka," she said.
Doctors, Red Cross workers, ambulance officers, and others scoured the site, looking for those who might be showing signs of hypothermia, she said. Anyone who did not have a vehicle to shelter in yesterday was taken to shelter, fed, and given blankets and winter clothes as the rain continued to fall.
The situation was "completely under control" and teamwork from Salvation Army staff, the police, security staff and organisers had ensured nobody was left out in the cold. Those evacuated were being well looked after by the Salvation Army and St John staff in Motueka.
Ms Green said the crowd, which topped 10,000, refused to have their spirits dampened despite the pouring rain. "People are saying it's the best Gathering yet. Not many of them would want to be anywhere else."
Spectacular fireworks, laser lights, and fire-dancing displays marked the end of the millennium at the event. Midnight passed without problems despite rumours that white supremacist gangs had planned violence.
The four-day party began on Thursday morning with huge traffic jams and delays of up to 12 hours on Takaka Hill.
We'd like to say thanks to the Christchurch Press for this very accurate piece of reporting. Well done guys! Now compare this piece with the one that appeared in the Press the following day.....