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TL;DR news on Rhythm and Alps at February 19, 2023

The Wanaka music festival starts today and will be one of New Zealand's biggest destinations for New Year celebrations. "There are a couple of new cathinones that have been detected in the last couple of months and just in the last couple of weeks as the MDMA pills are reappearing." Advertisement Advertise with NZME. Latest from Entertainment Premium Sideswipe: Going without Sideswipe: Going without 20 Oct 04:00 PM A daily column looking at humorous, satirical and simply strange news. Photo: ODT files The person at the centre of New Zealand's first Omicron community scare is believed to be an international DJ who was due to perform at a popular New Zealand summer music festival. The recent arrival from the United Kingdom is the first person infected with Omicron that has been active in the community in New Zealand. A government spokesman said at this point there were no plans to alter Auckland's shift down to Orange in the protection framework setting. Stock photo: Getty Australia scraps mandatory Covid isolation Leighton Baker was charged with trespassing and resisting police at the protest. We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. In the past month leading up to New Year, it has run about 10 clinics nationwide from Auckland down to Dunedin. He said this year, police have noticed a rise in MDMA use and a decrease in cathinones. "If you do run into counterfeit MDMA stay hydrated, try to eat and get some sleep. He said, just as important, drug checkers can have a conversation with people about the drugs, what the risks are and the steps people can take to keep themselves safe. "Police are always concerned about any harm to individuals that may occur and we want to do everything we can to prevent it," said Macdonald. Police work at festivals to provide a reassuring presence and actively respond to any incidents that occur. Data from police received from an Official Information Act request from the Herald revealed the most commonly seized drug at festivals between 1 January 2018 and 31 July 2021 was MDMA with 81 seizures. Music festival organisers are also eager to protect their party goers and get drug checking services on site. "This year's law change is phenomenal, but resourcing remains a barrier to the lifesaving work," said Auckland Central Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick. High Alert is also a source of current information about dangerous new substances and people can sign up to their website to receive alerts about this. Rhythm and Alps in Wanaka kicks off today, with one or two light showers expected this afternoon, and a high of 22.