Matthew Backhouse is a NZME. News Service journalist based in Auckland.

Syringes out, semi nudity ok at Sevens

Sevens fans have parted ways with imitation firearms, fluoro vests and even empty syringes at the stadium gates - but a near-naked woman had just enough body paint to pass the decency test.

Wellington's biggest annual sporting event is known for its elaborate costumes, and the final day at Westpac Stadium yesterday was no exception.

Sevens general manager Steve Walters said some spectators had to be turned away because their costumes breached regulations.

"Quite a few people would have been turned away with things that are a little bit dodgy - fluorescent vests, which can get confused with security, is one of the issues."

Some people were bare-foot, which could be an injury hazard, although imitation firearms were an absolute no-no.

Others had turned up in costumes that were too big for their seats, or blocked the views of other spectators when seated.

"The policy is you shouldn't have a costume larger than your seat, and you need to be considerate to people around you."

Airport security also picked up unusual items in transit. One group of rugby fans had half a dozen pairs of metal handcuffs taken off them at Auckland airport on Thursday.

Inspector Terry van Dillen said there had not been too many confiscations but police were not impressed by a few groups who tried to take empty syringes.

"They were filling them with water and squirting people. It all seems fun, but there are some people who actually don't want to get squirted so we've taken a few of them off people. "

One body-painted woman raised eyebrows with her state of undress.

"But there was a fair amount of paint on her, so we allowed her in... It certainly wasn't indecent, or anything like that."

Van Dillen said there were a few oversize costumes.

"The people behind them have got to be able to see the game. But most of the costumes are fantastic."


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