ANEW YEAR reveller suffered serious burns after falling into a camp fire at the Vinegar Hill site near Hunterville.

The Palmerston North rescue helicopter was called to airlift the 27-year-old man from the campsite on the same night and take him to Lower Hutt Hospital which has a specialist burns unit.

Hunterville deputy fire chief Steve Monks said the man was from Wanaka and was stabilised at the scene.

"I'm not sure how it happened - it seems he tripped near a camp fire.


"I don't know the severity of the burns but they must be serious if he needed to go to Lower Hutt," Mr Monks said.

Police were also called to Vinegar Hill on New Year's Eve on four separate occasions to deal with "alcohol-fuelled antics". The incidents included disorderly behaviour, fighting, assault and dangerous driving.

Manawatu area commander, Inspector Sarah Stewart, said: "The Vinegar Hill campground is spread over two different sites.

"One section has a long-established and well-run New Year event which caused no problems for us.

"It was the small group of intoxicated people in the second site who made it difficult for family groups camping alongside them to enjoy what should have been a lovely night."

The Palmerston North rescue helicopter was also called out on New Year's Eve to transport a 28-year-old Feilding man suffering multiple injuries after a car accident. The crash site was just north of Feilding and the man was taken to Palmerston North Hospital where he was in a stable condition in the intensive care unit last night.

Although plenty of people were out in Whanganui on Thursday celebrating the arrival of a new year, emergency services said there were no major incidents.

Fire, police and ambulance services all reported a fairly quiet New Year's Eve.

"The staff were busy, but no more than usual," said St John Ambulance manager Trudie Taylor.

In the city, Mint Cafe hosted a celebration for around 500 people, while Shotz bar hosted a party for around 60 people.

"It was a very good party," said Shotz manager Jyodika Tittu. "Everyone enjoyed themselves and behaved very well."

The Riverside Bar provided live music, with local legend Joe Teka celebrating his 60th birthday as the clock struck midnight.

"It was a great night," said bar owner Paul Fletcher. "We had about 150 people really enjoying themselves and Joe got to turn 60 doing what he loves best - playing guitar."