New Zealanders drink on tiny island to avoid local alcohol ban

Frederick Owens
January 2, 2018

Once the sand island was built, the group of friends then installed a picnic table and an esky (which New Zealanders adorably call "chilly bins"). Today in Kiwi gold is this tale of a group of New Year's Eve revellers who had one wish to ring in 2018: getting shitfaced while taking in a water view. Facebook page and punters were keen to pile on.

Some of the group reportedly said the liquor ban didn't apply to them because they were in "international waters", according to Fairfax.

The tide soon came in and they cracked open a few cold ones, the witness said.

Due to a ban public drinking in Coromandel, New Zealand, which carries a £130 fine or arrest, the group of Kiwis chose to build the island - and get merry.

Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie told TIME that "locals and visitors alike" were amused, and commended the group's "creativity" and innovative spirit. As per reports of, on New Year's Eve, they drank into the night while watching the fireworks.

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Waikato East Area Commander Inspector John Kelly said the authorities weren't aware of this development, calling it "creative thinking" and adding that he "would have joined them" (the "island builders") if he had known about it.

The sandcastle was still visible and intact this Monday morning.

Describing how he did it, Alex said: "I've been going to Electric Zoo [festival] for over four years now so I know the layout very well".

Police were enforcing the liquor ban across all Coromandel beaches but they had a strong presence in Whangamatā over the weekend. Police can also search vehicles in the area without notice, as the terms of the ban have been made clear on signage.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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