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Crimeline: Show joyride, SAR, and crash victim airlifted to hospital

The Wānaka App

Tony O'Regan

13 March 2024, 4:04 PM

Crimeline: Show joyride, SAR, and crash victim airlifted to hospitalConstable Kiriana Flannery

Crimeline has changed. It is written by the Wānaka App based on a weekly meeting with Wānaka Police.

An influx of visitors to Wānaka for the Wānaka A&P Show meant additional police resources were engaged last week.

Constable Kiriana Flannery said additional road policing and impairment teams (the ‘Booze Bus’) travelled to Wānaka to ensure a good police presence.

“It’s more of a prevention thing,” she said.

“We don’t generally expect any issues … it’s a good event and very family orientated.”

Kiriana said police were aware of a person at the Show taking a security vehicle for a joyride after being removed from a bar due to intoxication on Friday March 8.

This resulted in the person's employer, an exhibitor at the show, losing its liquor licence and being unable to serve alcohol to its guests on Saturday March 9.

On Friday and Saturday evening police dealt with some intoxicated people making “poor decisions”, trying to get into bars and some minor disorderly behaviour.

On Saturday night police were called to a private address in Wānaka where approximately 150 youth had gathered for an 18th birthday party.

Kiriana said the party was under adult supervision but that numbers attending had swelled.

“We did have to separate a fight that broke out,” Kiriana said.

The Booze Bus was active over the weekend with more than 600 drivers tested for alcohol. One person tested positive in the ‘low range’, receiving an infringement ticket.

Search & Rescue

Wānaka Search and Rescue (SAR) were called to an incident at Brewster Hut where a person was winched into a helicopter from a ‘high risk’ area.

Kiriana said the person was cold and wet but not suffering from any injuries.

SAR also conducted an extensive search when a person was reported missing by a friend while tramping the Gillespie Pass Circuit in Mt Aspiring National Park.

The person was found travelling back in their vehicle.

Vehicle damage

A vehicle was damaged in the New World Three Parks car park in what Kiriana described as an unprovoked attack. The victim was sitting in their car when a person hit the vehicle with an item causing damage to the vehicle.

Kiriana said the people were not known to each other and the incident is under investigation with CCTV footage being reviewed.


Police attended a crash involving a motorbike and car on State Highway 6 near Wānaka Airport last week. 

The motorbike rider suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital where they are in stable condition.

See also: ‘Unexplained’ Lake Hāwea death under investigation

Call 111 when you need an emergency response from police, fire or ambulance.

Call 105 to report things that don’t need urgent police assistance.

Call *555 to report road incidents that are urgent but not life-threatening.

To make an anonymous crime report contact Crime Stoppers.

PHOTO: Wānaka App