An "open-invitation" party advertised on Facebook spilled out on to a Whangarei street and ended in a brawl, with terrified residents cowering in their homes waiting for police to arrive.
A woman living in Aratiatia Place, Tikipunga, was woken by a man being thrown against the outside wall of her bedroom just metres from where her 1-year-old son was sleeping at 2.15am on Saturday. The force was not enough to shatter the bedroom window but a fence post and garden gate were damaged. Her gardens were trampled and about 60 people swarmed across her lawn and went into the garage at the end of the house. She also saw people having sex on her lawn and a neighbour's.
"I could hear yelling, punching, screaming. There were people swirling around our car and into the garage. A guy slammed up against the wall ... it was terrifying," said a woman , who did not want to be named for fear of retribution.
"I watched a girl get stomped multiple times and she got up and kept fighting. And then there were people having sex on the lawn."
A man at the property had ripped an iron panel off the fence to get out.
The woman said her husband was at home but she felt it would be unwise to confront the partygoers who had come from about five properties down the street, so remained in her home.
Earlier in the evening she had called noise control. Another neighbour called 111 after witnessing the chaos.
"This guy jumped over the fence and came running towards my bedroom window. I just freaked out," the woman said.
The party had got noisy as more people arrived throughout the evening.
"I rang the police about 9.30am and told them they should come and take a look. Then I had to ring them later when it all got out of hand."
A resident of the street for 15 years, she had been so frightened over what was happening that she was unable to dial 111. "I didn't want to turn the light on, you know. I just didn't want them to know I was home."
When police arrived, they had the "paddy wagon" and an officer created a line and walked up the road.
The Facebook invitation offered free alcohol and barbecue food.
On Saturday morning, bottles, broken glass and empty alcohol boxes were strewn across the street and cleared up by the concerned residents, not the party hosts. Now the neighbours are banding together to see if they can stop more open-invitation parties.
"With Facebook, things can just get out of hand so quickly. Open invitations are just a recipe for disaster," said the woman.
A neighbourhood meeting would be called and police and Housing New Zealand representatives would be asked to attend, she said. "Enough is enough. There have been a few things that have happened here but this was totally out of hand and by far the worst."
She said Housing NZ should put more strict regulations in place about who lived in the properties and about parties.
Whangarei police confirmed they received multiple calls about disorder in Aratiatia Place from about 1.45am. However, they were unable to confirm if they made any arrests.