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What you need to know for New Year’s Eve in Tauranga

Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty Police are appealing to Tauranga’s residents and visitors to put their own and their families’ and friends’ safety first while celebrating New Year’s Eve in Tauranga and especially at Mount Maunganui.

This year’s elements will focus on creating a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve across the city and Council will carry on with the successfully implemented changes in recent years, working with NZ Police and other key organisations to encourage a safe environment for Tauranga’s residents and visitors.

There will again be no organised event at Mount Maunganui Main Beach on New Year’s Eve. Safety measures will be implemented that provide a safer environment on the night with an increased Police and security presence in and around Mount Maunganui. Both Hopukiore (Mount Drury) and Moturiki (Leisure Island) will be fenced off and the beach will be well lit.


Tauranga will welcome the New Year with midnight fireworks, launched from several locations across the city. Residents and visitors are invited to watch them from their deck or backyard, ideally from a slightly elevated point.

The first fireworks to light up the sky will be at the family-friendly time of 9.30pm at the community events at the Tauranga waterfront, Gordon Spratt Reserve (Papamoa) and at Fergusson Park (Matua). There will be no fireworks display at Mount Maunganui.

Fireworks can be scary for animals and pet owners are asked to keep pets inside this New Year’s Eve. Closed blinds and the TV or radio on, help drown out the outside noise.

Road closures at Mount Maunganui

There will be no road closures on New Year’s Eve with Marine Parade remaining open overnight. Temporary ‘No parking - tow away zones’ will be in place on Marine Parade, between Adams Avenue and Pacific Avenue, from 6am on 31 December 2018 until 8am on 1 January 2019. Additionally, traffic management on New Year’s Eve will include turning restrictions at key Mount Maunganui roads: Commons, Grace, Pacific and Banks Avenues.  There may be changes on the day if required, in consultation with NZ Police.

Marine Parade, between Adams and Pacific Avenues, will be closed from 28 to 30 December 2018 and 1 to 3 January 2019, each night from 8pm to 6am the following morning.

Vehicle passes for the Mount Maunganui area are not required, however access through the closed area is restricted to residents only. 

Mount Maunganui road closures

Vehicle passes

Vehicle passes for the Mount Maunganui area are not required, however access through the closed area is restricted to residents and businesses only.

New Year’s Eve road closures in the CBD

A full road closure will be in place from 2pm on 31 December 2018 to 2am on 1 January 2019 on The Strand, from Devonport Road roundabout down to Harington Street roundabout to ensure a safe event. Both roundabouts will be open to allow traffic flows. 

There will be no vehicle access to The Strand via Hamilton and Wharf Streets. Parking on The Strand will be restricted from 6am on 31 December until 8am on 1 January. 

Parking buildings and off-street car parks are free after 3pm and open 24/7. Access for deliveries and residents will be possible during the road closure, to ensure minimal disruption. Car parking is available for mobility cardholders in the waterfront car park.

Find the map with The Strand road closure online. 

Alcohol-free areas

The permanent, 24/7 alcohol-free area in Mount Maunganui will be extended over the New Year period to include all public areas north of Hull Road and Tweed Street. Waiariki Street in Arataki will also become a 24/7 alcohol-free area. The extended alcohol-free area applies from 26 December 2018 until 6am 6 January 2019.

The Strand in Tauranga’s CBD is an alcohol and glass-free zone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The permanent 9pm to 7am alcohol free area in Papamoa will be extended over the New Year period to 24/7. The extended alcohol-free area applies from midnight 26 December 2018 until 6am on 6 January 2019.

To enhance safe community celebrations in Papamoa and Matua, temporary alcohol-free areas will be put in place. 

Gordon Spratt Reserve (including Alice Way and Parton Road between Papamoa Beach and Tara Roads) will become a temporary alcohol-free area from 10am on Monday, 31 December 2018 to 6am on Thursday, 3 January 2019. 

Fergusson Park in Matua will become a temporary alcohol-free area from 10am on Monday, 31 December 2018 to 6am on Tuesday, 1 January 2019. 

No alcohol can be carried or consumed in this area while the temporary ban is in place. Police have the power to search for alcohol and issue a fine.

Alcohol-free area maps


Bayhopper buses will run normal services throughout the day on New Year’s Eve. Find more information on regular bus services online.

Be prepared and plan ahead for New Year’s Eve

Council and NZ Police are working together to inform residents and visitors on how to plan ahead to stay safe on New Year’s Eve in Tauranga:

  • Plan ahead before you go out: The early stage of the evening is the time to get prepared.
  • Being out and about: Look after yourself, your mates and your belongings. 
  • Getting around town and home: Remember to plan how you’re getting home and around town.
  • Emergency and safety numbers: Save the numbers of Police, medical centres and taxis into your phone. 

Information on road closures, alcohol-free areas, community events and how to stay safe are available at www.tauranga.govt.nz/staysafe, a mobile-friendly website that can be easily accessed from home or when being out and about. 

Posted: Dec 28, 2018,

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