Binge drinkers take over Queen St
Sun, 27 May 2012 6:01p.m.
By Amanda Gillies
New Zealand’s most famous street is developing an ugly reputation as a dangerous place at night.
Auckland’s Queen St is a tourist attraction full of designer stores, popular theatres and Aotea Square.
But none of the drunken, violent scenes 3 News witnessed last night would make a tourist brochure.
Queen Street, just before midnight – there are pushes, shoving and foul language. We had just arrived, and already we see a woman bloodied after a girl-on-girl punch up.
Within minutes the police arrive with two cars and the group quickly disperses. No one is arrested.
Queen St is New Zealand's most famous street, and it is what is meant to be a tourist attraction.
But it's hard to see the attraction of an increasingly common scene - vomit on the road from a drunk reveller.
One security guard tried to stop us reporting.
But you couldn't hide the fact that people no longer feel safe on Queen St, after dark, on the weekend.
“There are so many people over drunk,” says concerned reveller Josh Love. “I don't feel safe. You walk down the street and people say ‘you want to fight?’ No.”
“We don't come into Queen Street because of this,” says Manesh Malani.
“There is a lot of violence, a lot of people who want to get into your face for no apparent reason,” says Samuel Martin.
A minute later someone was in our faces.
“I'm not violent,” the person says. “I'll get in your face and give you compliments but I'm not violent.”
This is just a standard Saturday night in Auckland, heading into winter. There's no big sporting event. No special festival.
Everywhere people stumbled out of bars and along the street. Some were in the mood for love, others were looking for a fight.
All night I have seen young drunk revellers. Some of them are underage; most of them are women wearing tight, revealing dresses. They have admitted to me they are binge drinkers getting drunk on a Friday and Saturday night. They come to Queen St because they like the attention.
“The girls here are completely young and drunk,” says Lana MacFarlane. “They are so much younger than I am. It's so awkward. You feel old at 21. I feel ridiculously old at 21.”
Most of the young party goers come here from the outer suburbs. They arrive late and many are already boozed, even drinking on the bus in.
That's flouting the law. So too is drinking alcohol on the street. But we saw plenty of that.
The Government says new liquor laws will make it harder for young people to get alcohol and get drunk.
The Alcohol Reform Bill will target youth binge drinking if it passes into law. Town will close up by 4am, at the latest.
But last night not everyone was convinced.
“People might start drinking earlier on, so you just might have the problems earlier in the day,” says Chelsea Ross. “So that's not necessarily going to fix the problem.”
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24/12/2012 1:25:28 p.m.
Brittany Downs wrote:
I don't think it's fare to generalise when it comes to disabilities. We have a friend who would love to get faced on queens street and enjoy himself but he has an inverted southland foot and no arms so he wouldn't stand a chance out there.
You can't blame the dogs for this bad behaviour but the owners, and they should be disqualified from walnking in pubic.
Lets hope the city doesn't become obsessed by this one off occurrence.
24/12/2012 11:16:02 a.m.
Kate Leggat wrote:
Whilst I find the drunks dressed up as Santa thing funny, why do we let people in the country with known ‘trouble making’ backgrounds in the first place? Could we not identify these people in the first instance?
24/12/2012 11:10:27 a.m.
Peters Borough wrote:
I wasn't drunk. I have an inner ear problem, strange dress sense and a speach impediment. What gives?
24/12/2012 11:07:12 a.m.
Dave Davis wrote:
I saw this as well, if we are talking about yesterday about noon. One of the dogs was braking at the proper Santa in the shopping centre.
24/12/2012 10:53:55 a.m.
The Captain wrote:
This disgraceful behavior! I'm an EX Pat that lives in New Zealand and was happy until about 3 years ago when a known trouble making couple from Peterborough moved to Auckland. They haven’t left there trouble making ways back in the UK and continue to walk the streets with their Labrador attack dogs drunken and slurring there speech at everyone who walks by them. I saw them last night dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Santa, they had even dressed the dogs up as Elf's, they were basically hammered from cheap wine shouting abuse at people in the Botany shopping Centre!
5/09/2012 1:27:03 p.m.
All this is the reason why most responsible drinkers do not go out at all because you cannot go out and have a good quiet time and drink without all this rubbish going on and getting harassed by the drunks. The government knows how to sort...raise da damm age, simple as that.
18/07/2012 3:06:01 p.m.
Jonah Kronfeld wrote:
well i think they need me to sort them out
26/06/2012 5:26:25 p.m.
This is nothing new, certain cultural groups have always been really bad with booze. It makes them violent and aggressive and they learn it from their elders. Some people just grow up thinking everything can be resolved with a bit of biffo. I'm 33 Queen St had the same groups doing the same things back when I was 20. However, there's a definite increase in younger idiots on Queen St these days, and they just don't have the intelligence levels to take it easy with the drink. I'm all for increasing the age limit in bars to 20, let the younger ones drink at home, I'm sweet with that, but keep them out of the bars. That's where there's no supervision no control.
26/06/2012 3:32:54 a.m.
I saw this a lot. Puts me off staying late to be honest. If people are enjoying themselves and keeping to themselves fine. But it's obvious that people can't and don't do that.
22/06/2012 8:03:03 a.m.
Patrick Woodbourne wrote:
I have just one question with regards to this behaviour. Who is ruling the country ?????This also goes for crime, gangs, drug dealers and boy racers.
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