Police called to unlawful gathering with 30 teens partying at Rotorua flat

Police are investigating a party held in Rotorua on Saturday night that saw a crowd of about 30 teens mingling, drinking and blatantly flouting the level 4 lockdown restrictions.

A nearby resident, who said he was kept awake during the commotion of the party, said he was shocked when he saw the gathering.

Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said police were called to the party in the suburb of Victoria about 10.15pm on Saturday where there was an unlawful gathering of about 30 youths.

“They were all sent on their way with five of them eventually being arrested. These five were all under 17.”

Taikato said the youths would be dealt with by the police’s Youth Aid Team and follow up discussions would be had with the lawful occupier of the flat. He said a decision would then be made on what action was to be taken.

“Police will not tolerate any blatant breaches of the level 4 restrictions and will not hesitate to take immediate action.”

He said in general the community had been “extremely positive” in their compliance to alert level 4 restrictions.

“So it does frustrate us when a very small minority flout these rules.”

The Victoria resident said the people at the flat were partying “like it was the end of the world”.

“The music and crowd noise made me think [Victoria] had became Eat Streat.”

He said he did not see anyone wearing a mask.

He said police managed to move most of them on after arriving after 10pm but the party started up again just before 11pm when police left.

“They were all gathering out by the letterbox and on the road and standing there casually drinking their alcohol as if there’s no more liquor ban round here.

“I want to strongly reiterate to people about the seriousness of Covid and adhering to lockdown rules.”

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