Mayor defends 'party town for drugs'

By Olivia Caldwell of the Otago Daily Times

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. Photo / Doug Sherring
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. Photo / Doug Sherring

Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden has defended the resort town after a Christchurch judge labelled it "a party town for drugs" this week.

Judge Jane Farish was sentencing a 22-year-old woman for possession of speed at Christchurch District Court when she told her Queenstown was known as a "party town for drugs, and that's what you were doing there".

Although the woman and a male associate had bought 32 point-bags of speed in Christchurch, Judge Farish said that since the woman had left Queenstown she had got herself "sorted out".

Ms van Uden said she could not comment directly on Judge Farish's comments but said the council and police had a "zero tolerance" policy on drug and alcohol abuse.

"The police and council make sure the right initiatives and systems are in place, the CCTV system is a good example of taking that action."

"It's not about wrecking people's fun, but ensuring the fun is had in a safe environment. The police do a very good job here and we are very lucky."

Ms van Uden said the council closely watched what offences were committed in Queenstown and reacted accordingly.

"We just need to maintain the things we are doing and send a clear message we don't have any tolerance for bad behaviour. We want people to have fun in Queenstown."

- Otago Daily Times

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