Two 14-year-old girls were so drunk when they were found in a Kaitaia street they vomited after being placed in police cells to the point of almost choking.
An ambulance was called, police fearing that they were suffering alcohol poisoning, and they were taken to Kaitaia Hospital for treatment before being released to their parents on Tuesday.
The two girls, both from Kaitaia, and a 16-year-old from Auckland, had reportedly been drinking at the address of a 19-year-old Kaitaia woman after attending a sitting of the Youth Court earlier in the day. They were drunk when they arrived at the address, a police spokesman said, but continued drinking there.
When police found them a little after 2pm, one of the 14-year-olds was having difficulty standing, while the other was being supported by the older pair. One of the 14-year-olds was arrested on an historic assault matter, but when police attempted to take the other 14-year-old home, the older teenagers intervened. Both were pepper sprayed.
All three younger girls were subsequently released with pre-charge warnings for disorderly behaviour, while the 19-year-old will appear in the Kaitaia District Court today charged with obstructing and assaulting police.
It was not clear on the weekend whether inquiries would be made into who supplied the juveniles with alcohol.