Just as the rest of the world, New Zealand celebrated New Year yesterday. Unlike most of the western world though, the Kiwis do this in the middle of their summer, and in recent years lots of public drunkenness had been reported. Therefore, in certain areas, New Zealand’s local authorities had installed a ban on drinking in public places, punishable by a $250 fine. Such was the case in Coromandel, a small coastal town on the North Island of New Zealand.
In order to circumvent the ban in a creative manner, a group of friends had built a sand island in the middle of an estuary, claiming they would then be ‘in international waters’ and thus exempt from the official liquor ban.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Well played <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/beeroclock?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#beeroclock</a> <a href="https://t.co/fTkmpswbI4">https://t.co/fTkmpswbI4</a></p>— Baa-king mad! (@sheepio) <a href="https://twitter.com/sheepio/status/947796808725684226?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 1, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The structure had been built at low tide in the Tairua estuary on the Coromandel peninsula on Sunday morning and was still in place on Monday.
The group installed a picnic table and an icebox for drinks and spent the New Year’s eve on the small island.
Local authorities thought it was hilarious, with police officer John Kelly admitting: "That's creative thinking. If I had known about it, I probably would have joined them."
Local resident Noddy Watts, who posted pictures of the group on Facebook, claims it was indeed time for a change to the law, as the only ones getting drunk on New Year’s eve nowadays are children: "The police were dealing with drunk teens. That's not what they are there for. That's what parents are there for.
"The police and St John were getting frustrated with the result and said it has to change."