NZ revelers build sand island to defy alcohol ban, authorities admire their ingenuity
A group of New Year holidaymakers in New Zealand built a sand island in a bid to defy a local liquor ban, local media reports. The authorities turned out to be quite relaxed about it, too.
It is illegal to consume alcohol on beaches or in other public places in the Coromandel area during the New Year period.
In an effort to beat the booze ban, an enterprising group of friends constructed a sand fort that included a wooden picnic table and a chilly bin. They reportedly claimed the ban did not apply to them because they were in “international waters.”
They continued drinking and watched the fireworks from the comfort of their sand island.
A picture of the friends enjoying their think-outside-the-box solution was posted on the local ChitChat! Facebook page.
In the spirit of the holidays, the local authorities turned out to be really chill about the whole situation.
"That's the one thing I absolutely love about the Coromandel: the inventive nature of the people. It's about creativity, the legal reality is somewhat different," the Coromandel mayor said, as cited by the Stuff.nz news portal.
The local police said they were not aware of the sandcastle drinkers, but Inspector John Kelly echoed the mayor’s admiration for their creative thinking. “If I had known that, I probably would have joined them,” he said.
It is forbidden for the New Year revelers in Coromandel to drink alcohol in public, and the fine for breaching this law could amount to US$180. Police can also search vehicles in the area without notice, as the terms of the ban have been made clear on signage.