There are plenty of choices to ring in the New Year in the Bay this year, with family-friendly, free events being held in Tauranga's CBD, Pāpāmoa and Matua.

The three Tauranga City Council-run events will all feature a child-friendly 9.30pm fireworks display to celebrate New Year's Eve. Traditional midnight fireworks would be launched from various locations and will be seen across the city.

At the Tauranga waterfront, Tauranga's Mayor Greg Brownless will serve a barbecue, while roving performers, live music and a visit from Batman in his Batmobile will be on hand to entertain attendees. People can take a picnic and enjoy the waterfront celebration with the local community from 6pm. Food stalls will also be on site.

Mayor Greg Brownless said a city-wide and safety-focused take on New Year's Eve was the way to go for Tauranga's future.


"Last year's family-friendly approach has proven that we're on the right track with many enjoying the early-evening community celebrations in the central city and Pāpāmoa," Brownless said.

"This year, we're adding a community celebration for our Matua and Otumoetai communities.

"We're bringing New Year's Eve to our local areas so neighbours, families and friends can enjoy what's on offer and celebrate together."

In Pāpāmoa, a New Year's Eve celebration will be held at Gordon Spratt Reserve. The all-ages entertainment, which starts at 6pm, includes kids' rides, music, games, roving performers, pony rides and a petting zoo. The event finishes with the 9.30pm fireworks.

The Ōtumoetai and Matua festivities will be held at Fergusson Park, with early-evening entertainment including kids' rides, music, Frozen characters, street food stalls on offer and a visit from Batman in his Batmobile.

Fergusson Park will become a temporary, alcohol-free area from 10am on December 31 to 6am on New Year's Day. All three community celebrations are no-alcohol and smoke-free events.

Due to limited parking, revellers are encouraged to bike, walk or share a ride down to the events - parking is available for mobility cardholders in the main car parking areas.

Several road closures will be in place in the central city from December 31 to January 1.


This includes a full road closure on The Strand from Devonport Rd roundabout down to Harrington St roundabout. There will be no vehicle access to The Strand via Hamilton and Wharf streets, with parking restrictions on The Strand from 6am on December 31 until 8am on January 1. Parking buildings and off-street car parks are free after 3pm and open 24/7.

Papamoa Tavern general manager Kerry Bollen said staff at the popular venue were "pumped" for the summer ahead.

About 950 locals and visitors would bring in the New Year at the tavern with Salmonella Dub Soundsystem on December 31, which Bollen said was on track to sell out.

About 100 tickets were still available online for those without New Year's Eve plans.

Bollen said her "awesome" crew were ready for the festive season and wished everyone a happy and safe holiday.

In Waihi Beach, there is also plenty on offer at The Extravaganza Fair being held at
Waihi Beach Community Centre, Beach Rd, from 9am to 9pm on Monday. This is a free, family-friendly event for all ages offering arts, crafts, food, music, circus shows, performers and market stalls.

Inspector Zane Smith of the Western Bay of Plenty police said they worked closely with the Tauranga City Council and other partner agencies to ensure that New Year's Eve events were safe.

"Police support community-based events that help make this vibrant city safe for people to live or visit. Our aim is to reduce alcohol-related harm and this year is no different," he said.

"There will be a police presence in Mount Maunganui and Tauranga over the holiday period to ensure the community enjoy a positive New Year's eve celebration."

MetService said the country was set for plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures over the weekend, after what was a pretty wet Christmas Day for many.

Heading into the New Year, the weather in the north was looking more summery over the coming days, meanwhile, those in the south will be treated to more rain.

"The weather is a bit of a swap from what we have over Christmas," MetService meteorologist Nicole Ranger said.

"This time it's looking like we're going to have a ridge over the North Island and westerlies and rain over the South Island."

High pressure is building over the country which means, on the whole, the weather will feel more like summer than it has in the past few days.

A ridge should cover much of central and northern New Zealand on Tuesday with
afternoon showers about the ranges and northwesterlies may develop in the south
of the South Island.