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Police warn New Year’s Eve revellers to drink responsibly and be safe

Police have offered tips to ensure people stay safe this New Year’s Eve. Photo / George Novak

Have a fully charged mobile phone, plan your way home and “take care of your friends and stick together” – this is the advice of the emergency services for a safe New Year’s Eve.

Police, St. John and Te Whatu Ora Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty offer tips to ensure people are safe going out on New Year’s Eve and enjoying festivals, parties and gigs.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Tauranga tonight for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, with several events and festivals taking place across the city.

A police spokesman said those who were drinking should eat something solid before takeoff and drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.


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“Plan how you are going to get home at the end of the night and have cash, the Eftpos card or the app to pay for transport.

“Take care of your friends and stick together and find a place to meet up with your friends when you get separated.”

Police are advising partygoers to have a plan to get home safely.  Photo / George Novak
Police are advising partygoers to have a plan to get home safely. Photo / George Novak

The speaker advised never leaving drinks unattended or accepting drinks you haven’t personally seen being served, especially from strangers.


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“If you plan on walking, going in pairs or in groups, either way have a plan to get home safely.

“We all have a responsibility to make sure our friends and loved ones are safe this summer, so keep your eyes open and report your concerns.”

Police also had advice for those trying to take advantage of vulnerable or intoxicated individuals.

“Don’t do it. Don’t let your co-workers do it either. Sexual assault is unacceptable. It is never the victim’s fault and should not be tolerated in any situation.”

Police took sexual assault “extremely seriously” and would respond to and investigate any incident reported to them.


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A spokesman said police will be on duty during the summer holidays to prevent risky driver behavior that could result in death or serious injury on the roads. A particular focus would be on highway surveillance.

“Expect a significant police presence anywhere, anytime.

“We want you to get to your destination safely, so police are focusing on the four main causes of death and injury on our roads.”

This included ensuring everyone was wearing the correct seat belts or child restraint systems, not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or when tired, staying focused on the road at all times and not being distracted by phones, and driving at a safe speed for the conditions.

Te Whatu Ora Hauora, Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at Toi Bay of Plenty, Dr. Derek Sage said the top things people fall victim to are excessive drinking and recreational drug use.

“It’s kind of falling on deaf ears to some degree because part of it is younger adults, older teens, where they don’t know how to move.”


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He advised drinking sensibly – “Think about how long the celebration lasts all evening. Don’t start drinking in the early afternoon and go out late and think you’ll make the distance because we see all these people in the ER early and late at night when they come in drunk and unconscious.”

Hato Hone St John Tauranga Central East District Operations Manager Mat Delaney said during the New Year period demand in the Bay of Plenty and the Rotorua region typically increased from the morning of New Year’s Eve to the evening of New Year’s Day.

Among them were calls from people still recovering from the celebrations.

Stu Cockburn, general manager of Hato Hone St. John’s ambulance service, said the most common calls are people being unconscious, falls, traumatic injuries and car accidents.

“A third of all those calls are alcohol related and could easily be avoided.

“If people need to call an ambulance, please be kind and respectful of our ambulance officers. Our 911 dispatchers and paramedics are caring professionals who do great mahi, but if abused, they can’t do their job.


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“Our employees are here to help you and we do not tolerate verbal or physical violence towards our employees of any kind.”

Chaz Gibbons-Campbell, Surf Life Saving NZ Eastern Region Life Saving Manager.  Photo / Mead Norton
Chaz Gibbons-Campbell, Surf Life Saving NZ Eastern Region Life Saving Manager. Photo / Mead Norton

Chaz Gibbons-Campbell, lifesaving manager for Surf Life Saving NZ’s eastern region, said many people enjoyed going to the beach for the New Year countdown.

“I urge people, please don’t go in the water at night, especially after you’ve had a few drinks,” he said.

“Lifeguards can intervene after hours, but we’re not really equipped to search for people at night.”

Although it’s “very tempting” to take a dip, he asked people to stay in the sand.

Gibbons-Campbell said it’s also important to note that many beaches are alcohol-free zones. He advised people to check conditions before swimming, swim at a beach with lifeguards, and avoid mixing alcohol and swimming.


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A quieter day for lifeguards

Thursday was a quieter day for lifeguards and rescue volunteers in the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel, with seven rescues and nine people being brought to safety, compared to 130 the previous day.

Gibbons-Campbel said most of the rescue operations took place Thursday, before lifeguard patrols began, and were conducted by the newly formed iLine Construction Western Bay of Plenty Search and Rescue Squad.

The team consists of more than 60 volunteer members from Mount Maunganui, Omanu, Pāpāmoa and Pukehina surf clubs who respond to water-related incidents outside of patrol hours, he said.

“These are mothers and fathers who help people in need in no time at all.”

Gibbons-Campbell said it was a busy start to the day at Mount Maunganui, with a rescue just before 7am by Mount Maunganui’s SAR unit, which pulled one person out of the surf and pronounced them “safe and sound”. brought back country.

A medical incident followed shortly after, with someone on Mauao feeling weak and in need of help. Lifeguards and St. John Ambulance workers safely retrieved the patient, he said.


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At Whangamatā, lifeguards responded to a report of a surfer in trouble at the bar, but they were found safe and sound ashore. They also searched for a potentially missing swimmer in “challenging conditions” for an hour and a half, which turned out to be a false alarm due to incorrect information.

Iline Construction is the naming rights sponsor for the Western Bay of Plenty SAR squad and supports their training and operational costs.

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