The usual sea of black during the after-work downtown Auckland rush hour last night was mixed with green, revelry and leprechauns.
At Father Ted's bar, James Day, a Kiwi of Irish descent, said: "2016 is the year of the pub crawl. Everything used to be in Wynyard Quarter so everyone would just go there but now that doesn't happen so everyone's going between the bars."
Irishman Declan Conway, 30, was happy in Auckland.
"I've been in New Zealand for four years and have travelled all over the country. I reckon Auckland's the best place to go for St Pat's because there's such a diverse culture here."
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Mr Conway was at The Fiddler in Victoria St with his boss. They had both taken the day off work.
A Kiwi who gave his name only as "drunken Duncan" left work early to go to Irish bars.
"O'Hagan's was packed at 3.30pm. Lots of Irish and Kiwis and travellers."
Irishwoman Sue Jayes was celebrating her 50th birthday at The Fiddler.
"It can normally be a bit annoying having my birthday on St Patrick's Day because it doesn't really feel like my special day.
"But this year, I'm having a good time. My sister's here and my friend's come over from Brisbane. Everyone's getting into the atmosphere."