Auckland's Viaduct Harbour is becoming a late-night haunt for drunken hooligans and bloody violence, according to those who live there.
Residents of the upmarket Quays apartment building have had enough of the rowdy behaviour and want the Auckland City Council to back police calls to end 24-hour liquor licensing in central Auckland.
David Yu, who lives in the Quays and owns a restaurant at the Viaduct, told councillors on Thursday of a recent incident in which he feared for his life.
About 2.30am on August 3, he witnessed four men beat an "innocent man to a bloody pulp" while waiting outside the apartment building for a council noise control officer.
"The offenders then turned in my direction and charged at me.
"I slammed the main door shut and waited as the perpetrators pounded on the door and shouted obscenities of what they were going to do to me if I didn't open up.
"After the pounding and swearing stopped I went outside to help the poor victim. There was blood everywhere, all over the footpath.
"I later discovered the man had lost multiple teeth and injuries to his lower jaw," Mr Yu said.
Another male resident of the Quays, who did not want to be named, said hooligans were coming to the Viaduct with the intent of "alcohol-fuelled action", which often degenerated into violence and total disregard for the public and residents.
"This area is supposed to be one of the jewels in the crown of Auckland City. Instead, after midnight it is often an area of arguing, senseless shouting, fighting, intimidation and the passing of body fluids into public spaces," the resident said.
The two men tabled complaints from other unnamed residents.
Concerns about alcohol-fuelled violence prompted Auckland police in July to recommend ending 24-hour licensing in the inner city, and instead having bars, pubs and clubs closed by 3am.
The proposal met a flat "no" from Mayor John Banks, who accused the police of wanting to shut the city down.
"That's not going to happen ... This is an international city," he said.
Mr Banks yesterday softened his stand, saying he would be prepared to entertain "drastic action" around drinking hours.
But he would consider this only if strict enforcement of liquor and noise issues, as well as host responsibility, failed to deal with a small minority of trouble makers.
City Vision leader Richard Northey said behaviour at the Viaduct was negating the notion of a sophisticated, 24-hour city.
The city development committee asked officers to investigate the issues raised by residents and report in November when liquor licensing hours will be considered.
Senior Sergeant Ben Offner, of the downtown police, said the Viaduct was not a hot spot for violence.
There were more violent areas in the city, including Queen St, parts of Karangahape Rd, Darby St, Elliott St and Britomart. Mr Offner said central Auckland was not a war zone, but was becoming more violent.
He said lower levels of violence at the Viaduct was due to bars generally closing at 3am, higher prices for alcohol and private security outside bars.
"In terms of statistics [for violence], the Viaduct is not bad at all."
ANGUISHED LOCALSHAVE HAD ENOUGH
'Every weekend at 4am, noise is still at a ridiculous level from drunken customers, car horns, shouting, screaming and smashing bottles.'
'It is unreasonable to expect anyone to live in the Quays with this excessive noise.'
'I have been woken up often by the rowdy manner, foul language, throwing up on public walkways and using the lamp posts and rubbish bins as a toilet facility.'