Police numbers will triple in most places across Northland to ensure New Year's revellers keep on the right side of the law tonight.

Officers will be out on the roads breath testing and checking drivers and vehicles during the last night of the year and popular beaches will be patrolled with liquor bans to be enforced.

Inspector Al Symonds, of Northland police, said Operation New Year would see pubs and bars visited by officers in Whangārei, Dargaville, the Bay of Islands and elsewhere in the Far North.

And popular party destination Urupukapuka Island, about 7.3km from Paihia, would also be visited by police during celebrations.


"We are not the fun police and want everyone to have a good time, but please drink sensibly and don't drive, and look after your mates," Symonds said.

"Policing numbers have been beefed up with support from Auckland."

There will be processing hubs in Paihia, Kaikohe and Whangārei where revellers who find themselves booking a New Year's date in court will be taken for paperwork to be completed.

St John is also gearing up for its busiest night of the year.

In past years 111 calls to the ambulance service have tripled on New Year's Eve, with about 500 calls expected at the peak time between 10pm and 2am.

Nationwide St John has rostered on an extra 105 frontline personnel and 80 more response vehicles.

The extra callouts are mostly alcohol related — include people passing out, falls and car crashes — and mostly preventable, the organisation says.

St John Northland operations manager Andy Gummer said extra staff and vehicles would be based in Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Kaitaia to cover the New Year ''hot spots'' of Mangawhai, Paihia, Russell and the beaches around Kaitaia.


The district's volunteer stations would also be manned as much as possible throughout the night.

It wasn't just alcohol-induced accidents that increased St John's workload in Northland, it was also the large population increase over summer which meant more heart and respiratory patients.

His advice to revellers was to plan how to get home, have a sober driver and avoid drink-driving, and to drive carefully and with consideration.

Visitors should find out beforehand where hospitals were located and people celebrating in remote places should ensure at least one of their number was well versed in first aid.

Former Northland St John boss Tony Devanney, now the assistant national operations Director, also urged revellers to be considerate of frontline emergency personnel.

Dealing with drunk or drug-affected people could be difficult, he said.

"Intoxication and substance misuse contributes hugely to falls, injuries and assaults. St John ambulance officers are caring and non-judgmental professionals who are there to help, but trying to treat someone vomiting over you, attacking you or being so incoherent or unconscious that the patient can't explain what is wrong, complicates treatment and is not ideal."