Music and weather hit right notes

By James Ihaka, Vaimoana Tapaleao

Shapeshifter perform to a crowd of thousands on New Years Eve at the La De Da 2012 New Years Festival in Martinborough. Photo /  Aaron Moffitt.
Shapeshifter perform to a crowd of thousands on New Years Eve at the La De Da 2012 New Years Festival in Martinborough. Photo / Aaron Moffitt.

Revellers partied nicely overnight with police reporting a largely quiet New Year's Eve, with most arrests for drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Bay of Plenty, traditionally a trouble hot-spot for police enjoyed a relatively peaceful evening, but there were 91 arrests, mostly of teenagers.

Prevention manager Inspector Scott Fraser said most were in "great spirits'' and were looking out for another.

"As always we were disappointed that there were small groups of people who let themselves down. Not only does it concern us that nearly all of the incidents we had to deal were alcohol-related, a significant number involved unsupervised youngsters.

"There were way too many teenagers who had access to alcohol and were intoxicated to the point where they placed themselves at risk.''

Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Steve Greally said he got the got the New Year's Eve he had asked for, with no reported assaults and just a handful of arrests.

"Most people came to town with the right attitude and celebrated the new year in great spirit.''

Across Nelson Bays there were no arrests for family violence, no reported victims and just a small amount of low level disorder.

In Motueka there were no significant events and only four arrests for low level alcohol related offences. There were no incidents at Kaiteriteri or at the rock concert at Riwaka.

In total 28 people were arrested for breaching the liquor ban, disorder, intoxication and drugs.

On the roads police conducted four checkpoints and stopped 2080 vehicles.

Four people were caught driving with excess breath alcohol, 33 tickets were written for other matters and one vehicle was impounded.

Christchurch police reported a well behaved crowd of about 5000 attended a concert at Hagley Park.

Only one person was arrested for disorderly behaviour and two were dealt with for intoxication.

Around the rest of the city there were few arrests, which were mainly for disorder and liquor ban offences.

There were 34 arrests in Wellington overnight for a range of offences, Sergeant Nigel Bullock said.

Most of the arrests happened after 1am.

New Plymouth police also reported a very quiet night with just six arrests - well down on their average Friday or Saturday night, Senior Sergeant Robbie O'Keefe said.

Invercargill police also had a quiet night, with relatively few arrests.

An Auckland police spokesman said the central city was also pretty quiet, with nothing of note happening.

Music, partying and grandstand firework displays heralded 2013, as New Zealand welcomed in the new year.

Legions of people swarmed into downtown Auckland to be with friends, while thousands of others around the country celebrated at music festivals, concerts and parties.

As Aucklanders enjoyed the annual Sky Tower fireworks display, residents of Wellington were left disappointed when its midnight fireworks display had to be cancelled because of windy weather.

In Mt Maunganui, thousands gathered to watch its fireworks display.

There was a steady stream of people in downtown Auckland from about 10pm, when streets, clubs and bars began to fill. Families were also out on the streets.

Among those enjoying the party was Datia Wilson, who said the new year was a time to take up new opportunities. "I haven't really thought about what my plans are for 2013, but I'm just going to try and make the most of it."

There was a huge police presence out on the streets, and three of the force's most senior officers were among staff walking the beat.

Commissioner Peter Marshall joined officers in Auckland City, Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush was with staff in the capital and Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard helped staff at the Rhythm & Vines festival in Gisborne.

The move followed attacks on five officers over the Christmas period.

Earlier in the day, sunny skies and hot temperatures made for good spirits in many parts of the country.

More than 27,000 people were at Rhythm & Vines, around 10,000 were in Whangamata and an estimated 7000 were at Papamoa.

New Year's Day celebrations are now kicking off all over the country as people welcome in 2013.

The New Year's Day beach carnival at Oakura beach in Taranaki gets underway at 11am with thousands expected.

Organiser and chairman of New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Club Paul Barron is confident popular annual shows like Miss Taranaki will draw a great crowd even if the weather isn't the best.

- additional reporting: Newstalk ZB

- NZ Herald

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