Fireworks at New Year's Eve Community Celebrations 2017. Photo credit: Wayne Tait.
Grab your whānau, a picnic blanket and your dancing shoes and head to one of five community New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place across Tauranga on Saturday, 31 December.
The family-friendly events will be held at Greerton, Tauranga City Centre, Pāpāmoa, Mount Maunganui and Matua from 6pm – 9.30pm.
They’ll feature food trucks, local musicians, roving entertainment and more – with most celebrations finishing with fireworks displays at 9.30pm.
Nelita Byrne, Venues and Events Manager at Tauranga City Council, is thrilled her team can deliver these events again in 2022.
“These much-loved celebrations are a fantastic way to bring our communities together to connect over a shared experience,” she said.
For those who experience sensory sensitivities and/or have accessibility requirements, the Matua celebration will also have an earlier celebration from 5.30pm – 6pm with limited sound and crowds.
Amanda Lowry, Disability Advisor at Tauranga City Council, said the earlier Matua event was a good way to include everyone in the celebrations.
“Fergusson Park is a great place to have the accessible/low-sensory event, it’s got great facilities – good accessible wharepaku (bathrooms) and parking.
“Families can bring their kids along for the earlier event, then stay on a bit longer into the main event if everything is going well”.
She recommends people with sensory sensitives come prepared.
“Bring along some headphones and something to sit on if you need some time out,” she said.
Roving entertainment at New Year's Eve community celebrations 2020. Photo credit: Jamie Troughton, Dscribe Media.
A fireworks display will kick-off at 9.30pm to mark the end of the community celebrations at all events except Greerton, where a laser light show will take place.
Fireworks will go off again at midnight across the city to welcome in 2023. People are encouraged to watch these from their homes – they should be seen from a backyard or deck.
Although it’s a time of celebration for humans, Brent Lincoln, Team Leader: Animal Services, recommends keeping an eye on your pets throughout the night as fireworks can be frightening for animals.
“Most of us love the popping and bright flashes of fireworks, but our furry-friends won’t be as impressed,” he says.
“Keep your pets (small or large) safe and secure for the night. Make sure your cat or dog is microchipped and ensure the correct details are recorded with your council. If your pet somehow runs away from home this will help you reunite.”
Brent also suggested registering your microchipped animal at animalregister.co.nz.
The events are alcohol and smoke-free, and temporary liquor bans have been put in place in and around each site. Attendees are encouraged to bike, take the bus or carpool to the events.
New Year’s Eve Tauranga community events, 6pm – 9.30pm
- Gordon Spratt Reserve – Pāpāmoa
- The Waterfront – Tauranga City Centre
- Fergusson Park – Matua (accessible/low-sensory event 5.30pm – 6pm)
- Tauranga Racecourse – Greerton (laser night show instead of fireworks, as horses are on site)
- Blake Park – Mount Maunganui
To find out more, including information on keeping pets safe and liquor bans, head to tauranga.govt.nz/new-years-eve.
Family-friendly events on the waterfront
Looking for more free family-friendly things to do this summer? The city centre will come alive with free events, light installations, gigs and more.
- Shapes of Summer: a magical collection of light sculptures and installations by award winning artist, Angus Muir, on now – 6 February
- Outdoor movie nights: free movies with snacks and drinks available to buy, various dates
- Sunrise yoga: move your body and welcome in the day, various dates
- Carols on the Waterfront: Sunday, 11 December 5.30pm – 7pm
Check out mytauranga.co.nz for more free family events being announced very soon.