Auckland's CBD is "mayhem" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, says St John Ambulance.
New figures supplied to Newshub by Statics New Zealand have revealed Auckland neighbourhoods dominate a leaderboard of the most violent city hot spots in the country.
"The fights and the assaults and the sexual assaults and things like that, it is out of control,” says St John acting Auckland district operations manager Mike McAulay .
Mr McAulay said St John’s workload in downtown Auckland is dominated by violence and disorder-related injuries.
“We are coming across a lot of assaults, fist fighting, broken noses, lacerations, cuts above the eye, stuff like that.”
Asked whether he’d be happy wandering around the inner city streets late at night, Mr McAulay's response is direct: “No, I wouldn’t. I think you are vulnerable here in Auckland.”
Mr McAulay was patching up a patient on the corner of Fort St and Queen St two years ago when he says he was forced to beat a hasty retreat.
“It started off with just one patient with a broken nose and he had some blood on his face and we had to actually pull out because there was 40, 50 people ended up fighting.”
St John acting Auckland district operations manager Mike McAulay (L) and Lisa Owen (Newshub.)
The veteran ambulance officer, who’s been with St John for more than a quarter of a century, says staff are increasingly getting caught in the crossfire.
In the last two weeks alone, St John has recorded 40 incidents of abuse toward ambulance officers in central Auckland; 13 of those were physical.
The police paint a similar picture. Auckland City crime prevention manager, Inspector Gary Davey, says they’re dealing with everything from victims who “don’t even see it coming”, to full-on fights “where they will brawl in front of police and they won’t stop”.
He says the statistics don’t provide a complete picture of the damage.
“You can look at each number, but that doesn’t tell you whether they are in an induced coma for five days or whether it was just a few stitches and a release the next day."