Editorial: Can quiet start be good sign for 2013

By Craig Cooper

It used to be that Northland on New Year's was an unlit firework, just waiting to explode with drunken behaviour.

This year though, the metaphorical fireworks fizzled and it was the real ones exploding, in a shed in Paihia Rd, Kawakawa.

Fire-safety investigators have confirmed a falling power line was the likely cause of the fire that set a shed containing 800kg of fireworks alight.

The unplanned fireworks display gave a dangerous edge to the call-out for volunteer firefighters, along with full-time staff from Whangarei who also attended.

Yet again, Northland volunteers put aside their private and social lives to help their communities.

Police do the same, but they are paid to do so - and, on New Year's Eve this year, proactive policing helped keep trouble to a minimum.

They were aided by a relatively quiet night in the region's bars and pubs.

In Whangarei, several bars did not bother opening. Hot weather equals below-par takings apparently. At 9.30pm, downtown Whangarei was "dead".

In which case, one might have expected the region's camping grounds to be alcohol hot-spots. But no.

Perhaps collectively our New Year's resolution can be to keep this responsible alcohol attitude up for the rest of 2013?

- Northern Advocate

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