Police are crediting good preparation for the success of new year celebrations in both Wānaka and Queenstown, but said there was still “an amount of disorder” that was cause for concern.

Otago Lakes central area commander Inspector Paula Enoka said the police were “really happy” with how the festivities on both lakefronts went, and credited the work of various stakeholders that went into preparing for the celebrations.

“Everyone had that same intent of wanting people to come in, have fun and go away safely,” she said.

While most people had been well behaved on both sides of the mountain, Insp Enoka said there were still individual cases that concerned them, including reported incidents of drink spiking.

She said there had been two potential cases of drink spiking in Wānaka, but police inquiries were still ongoing.

“We didn’t have any evidence, per se, of that, but we were concerned that that could be something that was occurring.”

Ray Thomson is national director for youth support charity Red Frogs New Zealand, which had stations set up in Wānaka and Queenstown on New Year’s Eve.

National director for youth charity Red Frogs New Zealand Ray Thomson said drink spiking was something their volunteers had encountered in both Queenstown and Wānaka this New Year’s Eve, and it was important for party-goers to be aware of the risks.

“One of the things that we as Red Frogs … encourage is to stay with your mates and check your drinks,” he said.

“Don’t accept drinks from anyone that you don’t know.”

Red Frogs partnered with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, police and other stakeholders to offer support during events such as New Year’s Eve.

Mr Thomson said while Wānaka had seen “less aggression on the street” this year, the group’s volunteers had encountered several unaccompanied people under the age of 18, as well as young people in both Queenstown and Wānaka under the influence of drugs.

“At an age that we would have expected maybe a first drinking experience, we did see more than one example of first drug experiences.

“If a young person takes a drug as well as alcohol, that creates a mixed-drug scenario which can actually be very dangerous.”

Red Frogs partnered with the QLDC, police and other stakeholders to offer support on New Year’s Eve.

Mr Thomson said Red Frogs’ role in such situations was to ensure people were cared for, and referred to medical professionals.

About 8000 people turned up to Wanaka’s new year celebrations on Sunday and about 10,000 attended the festivities in Queenstown.

By Regan Harris