Instead of paying fines, at least 30 teenagers who breached Wanaka's liquor ban, wrote essays for police on the harms of binge drinking.
The teens, all aged between 14 and 17, broke the Otago town's liquour ban during a New Year's Eve street party, Fairfax reports.
To avoid the $250 fines the teens were given reading and writing materials to write an essay about the negative effects of heavy alcohol drinking.
"Two hundred and fifty dollars, it is a big deal," says Senior Constable Phil Vink, Wanaka's police youth aid officer.
"We could ask them to wash cars or sweep streets but that's not acceptable.
"We are not there to humiliate or judge them. We just want them to come away from New Year having done some thinking."
All except one of the teenagers were from out of Wanaka.
None of the four people arrested in the town on New Year's Eve were under 18.