Young people have begun descending on Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park for New Year celebrations.
A total of 1250 sites will be available for those aged between 18 and 25, campground manager Peter Coppen says.
This is the third year the park has ran the youth initiative and Coppen expects a bumper season.
The fenced-off section of land for youths isn’t usually used.
Coppen: “This means we can have all the young people camping together in one area.
“It is easier to manage, but it is also really social for them.”
The number of sites has been reduced this year, in the interests of a strong host responsibility.
Anyone under 18 has to be accompanied by an adult and identification is required on arrival.
All vehicles are checked and a limit has been placed on alcohol - 12 cans per person.
“It isn’t like we are locking them in,” Coppen says.
“The whole premise is to ensure that all our guests are kept safe. That is why we have all these security measures in place.
“I know some people will overindulge [with alcohol]. I’m not trying to stop young people having a good time.
“It’s the opposite. We want to make sure they enjoy the festivities without anything getting too out of hand.”
Jesse Lusty-Winter, of Oamaru, thinks some of the security measures are over the top.
While recognising the importance of safety, he says alcohol limits are very conservative.
“We were here last year … no-one misbehaved, we just had a laugh.
“I think they are being a bit too strict this year. We understand the rules, but I’m not sure if they are really needed.”
Cougar Security’s Ricky Campbell says he doesn’t want to be the “fun police” and the policies are for the safety of those staying at the campsite.
“We’ve just turned away a car that had two 50-litre kegs in it.
“We don’t want to encourage excessive drinking.
“They need to understand we have a large demographic in this area.
“They are not the only ones in this area. We have families in the cabins around here and we have other people camping nearby.”
His job is to ensure everyone has fun and is safe. His 33-strong security team also used CCTV cameras.
Otago Daily Times