New Zealanders build island to avoid alcohol ban on New Year's Eve

A group of friends found a genius way to avoid New Zealand's alcohol ban on New Year's Eve

(Photo: David Saunders/ Facebook)
(Photo: David Saunders/ Facebook)

A group of New Zealanders constructed a tiny sand island in coastal waters and reportedly claimed to be in “international waters”excluding them from a liquor ban.

A New Year’s Eve alcohol ban on the the Tairua estuary in Coromandel was implemented in an attempt to curb excessive drinking.

Public drinking was banned in the entire Coromandel area and violators faced a fine of $250 (£130; US$180) or arrest.

This didn’t stop this group of friends, who built an island during low tide on Sunday, in preparation for the big night. They then installed a picnic table and ice box for drinks.

The images were posted on a local Facebook group “Tairua Chit Chat!”

Saunders told the BBC: "It was great to see some Kiwis having a bit of fun."

The construction attracted international admiration, and even local police Inspector John Kelly took the initiative in a light-hearted spirit.

"That's creative thinking - if I had known [about it] I probably would have joined them," said local police commander Inspector John Kelly when told about the sand island.

But a well-known community organiser Noddy Watts said the bad was not working, and was simply resulting in swatches of arrests.

He said the police were "dealing with drunk teens".

"That's not what they are there for. That’s what parents are there for,” Watts told the New Zealand Herald.

"The police and St John were getting frustrated with the result and said it has to change." 

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