Police pleased with holiday behaviour

Mahurangi recorded zero deaths on its roads during the Christmas/NewYear holiday period despite a surge in fatalities nationally.

This year, 11 people died on New Zealand roads during the holiday season, compared to four last year.

Police Senior Sergeant Roger Small says that in addition to zero road fatalities in Mahurangi, there was no spike in crime. This was despite a number of large music festivals including Highlife at Ascension Wine Estate, Northern Bass in Mangawhai and Hidden Valley in Matakana.

“There was not the anticipated level of disorder and drunkenness, despite the fact that there was obviously thousands and thousands of people out and about,” he says.

Snr Sgt Small says medical tents at festivals did treat a number of people for alcohol intoxication and those suffering from the adverse effects of illicit drugs, though this was no more than usual.

He says police try to educate young people in such cases in an effort to reduce harm rather than prosecuting them. Police take a harder line on drug dealing, but there was little evidence of it at the festivals.   

Snr Sgt Small says the death of 29-year-old Tuitu’u Junior Vaiangina at the Hidden Valley festival was being investigated by the coroner’s office. Earlier police said the army second lieutenant had died after suffering a “medical event”.

Snr Sgt Small describes traffic through Rodney during the holiday period as “bedlam” with frequent nose-to-tail traffic heading north from Puhoi to as far as Wellsford.

He says the gridlock meant police had little trouble with speeding but did have to contend with frustrated drivers undertaking dangerous overtaking and running red lights. 

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