The Bay of Plenty Times is looking back at the stories of 2020. This is what made headlines in December.
Half the organisations facing charges over the deadly Whakaari/White Island eruption that claimed 22 lives have come forward, forgoing name suppression ahead of the first court appearance.
WorkSafe NZ has laid criminal charges against 10 organisations and three individuals following the catastrophic eruption on December 9 last year.
All Blacks legend Richie McCaw admits there is a lot of places around the country he is yet to explore but is keen to keep trying new things.
Today, he had scenic views of Mauao, a Bay of Plenty sunrise, and a full moon while freefalling 15,000 feet with Skydive Tauranga.
Jacob Van Lieshout never saw the flip-bladed knife used to stab him in the back and slash him across his face and upper body as he stepped inside a lift.
The attack left Jacob, now 17, needing surgery, more than 300 stitches, including 74 on his face, and facing plastic surgery and re-evaluating his professional basketball aspirations.
The actions of Tauranga City Council are putting the growth of the city and wider region "at risk", according to the Local Government Minister.
Minister Nanaia Mahuta issued a short statement on Friday announcing her intention to appoint a commission to Tauranga City Council in response to significant governance problems" - a move variously described as "an early Christmas present" and an "extraordinary mistake".
Survivors, families of the dead, first responders and people around Whakatāne have observed a minute's silence at the same time as the Whakaari / White Island eruption one year ago.
Many have gathered at Mataatua Marae for a commemoration service on the anniversary. The ceremony is being live streamed at a nearby reserve where members of the public also stood in silence.
Tourism operators in Mount Maunganui are disappointed but not surprised Tauranga City Council has canned plans for a $5 million visitor information centre in Coronation Park.
Operators say a central tourism hub for the Mount will still be needed one day, but one business owner fears it will end up "on the back burner" for years.
The judge who presided over a five-week trial amid allegations five parties involved in the failed Bella Vista Homes subdivision breached the Building Act released his verdicts.
Judge Mabey released his written verdict yesterday in relation to a raft of charges laid by Tauranga City Council against five parties linked to the subdivision.
The future of the former Imbibe Bar and Restaurant site in Mount Maunganui remains unknown and more than half a million dollars could still be owed to creditors.
Monarch (2018) Limited - trading as Imbibe Bar and Restaurant - at 19 Girven Rd neighbouring the Bayfair Shopping Centre went into receivership on March 5.
A Tauranga retiree busted with a large cannabis crop at his home worth tens of thousands of dollars has narrowly avoided being sent to prison.
A frail-looking John Banks Price, 82, appeared in the Tauranga District Court for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to one charge each of cultivating cannabis and possession of cannabis for supply.
Amanda Lowry struggled to control her emotions when she reached the summit of Mauao for the first time since breaking her neck seven years ago.
Lowry is a tetraplegic but was able to climb the Mount Maunganui mountain with the help of a new Trailrider vehicle she believes is a "game-changer".
Some Tauranga councillors are "disappointed" and "gutted" after learning a week before Christmas they will lose their jobs in the new year.
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has confirmed she will appoint a commission to the council in February, effectively replacing the governing team.
Tauranga has its first million-dollar suburb, according to a new report.
Median values in Mount Maunganui have now tipped over the $1 million mark, according to CoreLogic's Best of the Best 2020, with Matua not far behind.
Just over $2.5 million has been spent on emergency housing and special needs grants in Tauranga during the past three months and new figures reveal the number of people getting help is growing.
Despite the overall cost dropping by $275,000 compared with the previous quarter, the number of people getting accommodation in places such as motels and grants to help pay for necessities has gone up significantly.
A Bay of Plenty police dog described as the "queen of the streets" who has been shot and stabbed in the line of duty is hanging up her lead.
Asta was "born to be a police dog" and her Tauranga handler, Senior Constable James Fitzgerald, says he knew she had "something special".
A third Tauranga City Council elected representative has resigned in as many months, with the aim of avoiding a "fiasco" byelection before a commission is installed next year.
Following Heidi Hughes' resignation today, the byelection has been postponed until next year, but was expected to be cancelled by the appointment of commissioners before the nomination period ended.
Katikati cricketers are devastated after a fire ripped through a large shed at Moore Park on Sunday destroying $20,000 worth of grounds equipment donated to the club.
"This incident is nothing but gut-wrenching, a week out from Christmas when things were looking so bright and positive for the club," Katikati Cricket Club president Ben Warren said, after a call from Katikati Police early on Sunday.
Retirement savings in ruin, a first-home dream destroyed, months of stress, and millions in claims from creditors with little hope of seeing their money again.
This is the legacy of bankrupted Tauranga developer Stephen John Short, according to court and insolvency documents and five of his former clients who have spoken out - some for the first time - in the hopes of warning others.
Tauranga shopping centres appear to be reaping the benefits of an unexpected legacy of Covid-19, as retailers experience a bumper Boxing Day and record sales from Kiwis unable to travel overseas.
At Papamoa Plaza, centre manager David Hill said: "It was our busiest Boxing Day ever."
Trapped injured and alone in a mangled car with no cell reception and hidden from plain sight, Gregg Shaw's first words when he was eventually found were: 'Thank God somebody showed up'.
Gregg was rescued by family 56 hours after going missing between Tauranga and Gisborne on Christmas Day.