Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

No trouble at 'teen heaven' camp

Richie Robin of the Silver Birch Holiday Park said the camp's youth focus had not caused any dramas. Photo / Joel Ford
Richie Robin of the Silver Birch Holiday Park said the camp's youth focus had not caused any dramas. Photo / Joel Ford

New Year's Eve party hot-spots, including the Tauranga campsite which banned adults and families in favour of those "young, dumb and full of beer'', all enjoyed a quiet, well-behaved celebration.

Silver Birch Holiday Park created a "teenage heaven'' where 250 under-25s set up tents in what was been nicknamed "Alcohol Alley'' to see in the new year.

Park managers Allan Sherson and Richie Robin said they were giving the youngsters a safe environment in which they could enjoy themselves.

And the night went off without a hitch.

"No dramas, no issues - everyone got home safely and just generally had an awesome time,'' said Ms Robin today.

Police weren't called to the camp, and Bay of Plenty Police prevention manager Inspector Scott Fraser praised revellers across the region for being in "great spirits and had an enjoyable trouble free night''.

But the youngsters won't be able to go back to Silver Birch next year, as Ms Robin said their lease runs out in November.

"As far as I know the place is being bulldozed,'' she said.

Camp managers across New Zealand reported a quiet night, enjoyed by well-behaved campers.

Coromandel TOP 10 Holiday Park welcomed 250 people, which included 80 children under the age of 12.

"There was a countdown at midnight where a few of the groups got together, everyone was well-behaved, it was a really nice atmosphere,'' said manager Caron Steffert.

And at Maitai Valley Motor Camp in Nelson, which is a traditionally popular destination for South Island youngsters, also reported good behaviour all round.

"All my campers, about 150 of them, were great, pretty quiet, especially compared to other years. It wasn't like the usual New Year's... we haven't got all the mess and the damage... so in that respect, it was good,'' said manager Carol Wood.

"We didn't have all the 16- and 17-year-olds, that's been cancelled, we just had a 100-odd 18-year-olds and they were all well-behaved.''

Aggi Sanders, manager of Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park, said a crowd of 1200 gathered.

She welcomed the overnight rain which "always dampens down a bit of trouble'' and added: "There was just a few minor issues of the odd person getting a bit drunk and too carried away, but less than what we usually get.''

Apart from a "large scale disorder'' in Christchurch where a flat was trashed, with windows smashed and police in full riot gear were met with hurled beer bottles, police have praised the actions of most partygoers.


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