Last Saturday afternoon, December 31, a group of New Zealanders built an artificial island at a witty attempt of escaping the public drinking ban.
The group had built the sand island on coastal waters at low tide at the Tairua estuary on the Coromandel peninsula, reports say.
They even furnished it with a picnic table, some lawn chairs, and an ice box for drinks.
Locals were joking that they were in “international waters” and, thus, were exempted from the alcohol ban.
The group celebrated New Year’s Eve and drank into the night. They watched fireworks over calm waters, and the structure actually stayed intact the following Monday morning.
Coromandel claims to have a liquor ban during the New Year period and that those who violate the ban can face a fine of $250 or arrest. However, authorities didn’t seem to enforce the ban and actually took the sand island in light-hearted spirit.
Inspector John Kelly, local police commander, said, “That’s creative thinking—if I had known [about it] I probably would have joined them.”
A local community organizer, Noddy Watts, says however that the “ban was not working” and that the police was dealing with “drunk teens”.
Watts said, “The police and St John were getting frustrated with the result and said it has to change.”
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