Locals are disappointed with the decision to can the New Year's event held at Main Beach.

In an "extraordinary" council meeting on Tuesday, Tauranga City Council decided to drop the concert because of safety risks to vulnerable members of the public.

Some locals were concerned more havoc could be caused through the lack of an organised event.

Mount Maunganui holidaymaker Kiehly Clayton said she had been at the event for the past five years, and stayed on Marine Parade.


"People do get yahooey, but you just put that aside. We have teenagers who want to go, we let them and follow about 20m behind and they are fine.

"We felt there have been good family vibes the last few years."

Mount Maunganui local Jef Overwater said he was not happy.

"The night before New Year's Eve is always the worst with mobs roaming the streets looking for trouble but the actual night is always better. You have a big police presence, the roads are blocked off and there are bands to listen to."

Pronto Burgers & Cafe owner Kate McKellar White said she was sad with the decision to can the event.

"It's a shame it can't be controlled."

The night was great for business with their liquor licence until about 11pm and she never noticed trouble on New Year's Eve itself. The other nights leading up to New Year's, when there were no events, presented more issues, she said.

Bay of Plenty Sexual Assault Services chief executive Kylie McKee said historically New Year's Eve was quiet for the organisation.

"This has changed over the past couple of years, with group assaults and targeting of victims taking place.

"The 'new kids on the block' as far as the type of unwanted sexual contact goes seemed to be groups of men circling targeted women, as well as those filming and uploading sexual activity, whether or not that activity is consensual."

The type of assaults ranged from relatively minor to real physical harm requiring treatment, she said.

She understood why council cancelled the event, but thought there were better ways forward.

"There is a regular influx of visitors to the area over public holidays. We believe a carefully planned approach by multiple agencies would be safer for many than unplanned but predictable revelry going awry because of some unmanaged individuals."

Western Bay of Plenty Area Commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said there had been an increase in public disorder and aggression and high levels of intoxication at last year's event.

"Police support safe, community-based events that help make Mt Maunganui a vibrant city for people to live in."

Mr Paxton said police would continue to be a strong presence in the Mount over the holiday period to ensure the community could be safe and feel safe.

• Please call 0800 227 233 if you need to talk to anyone following a sexual assault, no matter when it happened.