Crowds seeing in the New Year on Mount Main Beach next summer will not be dancing to rock music provided by the city council.

The council has opted to continue with last year's controversial decision to axe the New Year's Eve beach entertainment at the Mount.

The council's Audit and Finance Committee backed a New Year's Eve programme that was largely a repeat of last year, except to scale down the youth event.

No one at this week's meeting advocated for a return of the beachfront concerts. Last year's decision was based on budget blowouts and police fears of violence.


A staff report said that the council last year voted to put Tauranga "on a different New Year's Eve journey".

It said the decision to not organise an event on Mount Main Beach was intended as a "circuit breaker" and the first step to change the public's perception about what New Year in Tauranga had to offer.

The focus will be on delivering an enhanced family-friendly CBD waterfront event, including an extended sausage sizzle, music and a fireworks display at 9.30pm.

The report said significantly reduced numbers of people were at the historic Mount trouble spots, with the behaviour of revellers "dramatically improved" on previous years.

Committee chairwoman Gail McIntosh asked how many people were at Main Beach at 11pm and midnight on New Year's Eve. City transformation manager Jaine Lovell-Gadd said she would prefer to give the figures once they were easier to read.

Police reported that 10 people were arrested in Mount Maunganui on New Year's Eve last year compared to 30 in 2015 when 16 of the 30 were violent offences. The 10 arrests last year were generally disorderly offences.

The event at ASB Arena targeting youths aged 14 to 17 attracted 1500 people, well down on the 5000 that the council anticipated might attend. This year's event will be in a different venue and scaled down to cater for 2000-2500 people.

New Year's Eve 2016 and a family fun event on Tauranga's CBD waterfront. Photo/file
New Year's Eve 2016 and a family fun event on Tauranga's CBD waterfront. Photo/file

Alfresco dining and ticketed events by Mount businesses were sold out, with Mount Mainstreet saying it demonstrated how the market was moving to fill the gap left by having no organised event on Main Beach.

The report quoted one Mount retailer as saying it was the best New Year's Eve ever, while a couple of others felt the Mount was quiet and could be considered "quite boring". Downtown Tauranga retailers said the waterfront event was a "huge success".

Council departments found savings of $247,000 from their budgets to make up the difference between the original $279,000 budget for New Year's Eve last year and the $526,000 that ended up being spent.

The $279,000 was based on previous years when there was an event on Mount Main Beach.

Councillor Max Mason said the council had spent a lot more money not to have an event, so the public should expect that pencils would be sharpened this year.

Councillor Leanne Brown asked staff to deliver an outline of events and costs for New Year's Eve 2017, before the council signing off the 2017-18 Annual Plan.

Councillor Larry Baldock said $500,000 was a lot of money for one night and businesses should be contributing to the costs.

How $526,000 was spent on New Year's Eve last year

Safety and crowd management: $181,000
Youth event: $101,000
Project management & other costs: $71,000
Road closures and traffic planning: $68,000
Event operations: $50,000
Communication's: $34,000
Toilets and waste management: $20,000