Fall at huge Queenstown party


A woman party-goer was hospitalised after falling from a window at an “out of control” bash in Queenstown.

An angry neighbour has criticised cops for not doing more to stop the Christmas night knees-up, attended by more than 300 people.

Police and St John Ambulance confirm they attended the incident on Thompson Street, about 1am on Boxing Day, and a 19-year-old woman was treated.

Queenstown’s council says noise control was called three times.

Neighbour Dave Schlackman says the woman was found injured in a neighbouring garden by a passerby.

The party was “completely out of control”, he says, and followed a similar bash last year at which people were “partying on the roof”.

“You don’t want to ruin people’s fun at Christmas but then someone may have potentially just had their life ruined.”

Sergeant Steve Watt counters: “It’s the responsibility of those hosting parties to ensure guests remain safe.”

Schlackman says he spoke to the Canadian man who found the injured woman - who said she couldn’t move and feared she’d broken her back.

The Canadian thought she’d been lying in the garden some time and police had been to the house several times that night.

Party house tenant Facundo Peyon denies any wrongdoing.

He didn’t know the woman, or anything of her injury, until later. He’s sceptical about the incident, calling it a mystery.

The woman apparently fell from a kitchen window but Peyon says no branches on the nearby trees were broken.

“Maybe she was doing something silly or trying to climb in and fell back out,” he says.

“How did she fall that far? Look at the gap. We don’t understand how it happened.”

The Argentinian says he and his mates hired a sound system and friends took turns DJing.

They tried to keep the shindig to friends and acquaintances, Peyon says, but it snowballed when the party was posted on social media.

Asked if people were drinking excessively, he says responsibility doesn’t lie with occupants.

“We weren’t selling alcohol.”

Regardless of blame, landlord Nick Flight isn’t impressed.

“My tenants know I don’t encourage gatherings or parties and I will do anything I can under the Residential Tenancy Act to discourage this. Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property, but I do have house rules - which were broken that night.”

His theory is the situation escalated because of licensing laws on Christmas Day, when people had nowhere to go in town.

Flight adds: “It’s a shame one of the gatecrashers got hurt but obviously if you over-indulge and lose it these things can happen.”

St John station boss Keith Raymond confirms his staff treated a 19-year-old woman who “apparently fell out the window”.

She was taken first to Lakes District Hospital and on to Invercargill’s Southland Hospital with a “moderate” back injury.

Cop Watt says police remained at the scene for about an hour while folk were dispersed.

“The role of the police is to deal with any criminal offending that may occur and we encourage members of the public to call noise control for issues relating to noise where police will assist council if required.”

Council comms chief Michele Poole says noise control was called three times and an excessive noise direction was issued at 2.57am.

Mountain Scene was unable to confirm details of the injured girl.

But the paper’s been told she returned to Europe after the accident and her mum flew to Queenstown to take her