Wild weather has made for a much quieter start to the New Year celebrations for residents along the Mahia Peninsula.
Each summer the Mahia population, usually sitting at around 1100, at least triples. It has not been unheard of for 17,000 people to descend around New Year's Eve.
But this year is shaping up to be a bit quieter, with many attributing it to recent bad weather.
"The weather hasn't been that great here," Nuhaka General Store assistant Maraea Wesche said.
"It pretty much started on Boxing Day and hasn't really gotten better."
She felt bad for those who were tenting in Mahia.
"I think some of them actually packed up and went home.
"Some have been really brave and are riding it out."
The weather had helped slow people down though.
She said it was a blessing for many of the residents who relied on catching rainwater to fill their tanks, which were often depleted with the influx of visitors.
"We were predicted to have record numbers like last year.
"There's lots of traffic but I wouldn't say there's more."
This year's crowd seemed more "sensible and organised", she said.
In preparation for the New Year revelries, a 24-hour liquor ban is put in place between Nuhaka to Paritu from December 20 until January 20.
As such, the annual New Year's part at Sunset PointSports Bar in Mahia is a sell out event.
About 200 tickets are sold with the local Lyric Soul band a popular drawcard.
The Mahia Beach Motel and Holiday Park is similarly jampacked, with about 800 guests expected this year.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said celebrations seemed to be off to a good, albeit quieter, start.
"It's still the same crowd but it might be the way New Year's has hit that people have been slower getting out here.
"It's not been so nice weather, but it's been really good from a farming point of view."
He urged people to still take care on the road following a spate of minor crashes.
"It's pretty hectic on the roads.
"We urge everyone to drive to the road conditions and take it easy."
Police have also urged party goers to take care after they were called to an out of control party in Mahia on Tuesday night.
Both youths and adults spilled out onto the street where they continued to consume alcohol and cause disruption to the local community.
Wairoa Police Acting Senior Sergeant Mike Wallace said those in breach could be fined up to $2000.
"It isn't about not having a drink with your mates or having a good time this New Year's period - it's about ensuring that everyone stays safe and is able to enjoy themselves."
He said there woud also be an increased police presence in Mahia over the coming days to ensure compliance and safety.
Here are a few things to remember before heading out this summer:
- If you are planning on drinking, then it's a good idea to have something substantial to eat before you start.
- Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
- Plan how you are getting home at the end of your night, and have the cash, eftpos card or app to pay for transport.
- Look after your friends and stick together so you can watch out for each other.
- Have a place to meet up with your friends if you do get separated.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before you head out.
- Never leave your drink unattended or accept any drinks that you haven't personally seen poured, especially from strangers.
- If you have concerns about someone's behaviour, call Police.