The planned New Year’s Eve celebrations at Mount Maunganui are cancelled due to bad weather.
Tauranga City Council were forced to cancel the free event featuring two stages of entertainment after heavy rain and strong onshore winds lashed the planned venue on Marine Parade.
The planned fireworks display from Leisure Island will not go ahead this year due to bad weather. Fireworks will still be let off from the Tauranga side of the bridge.
TCC event delivery manager Penny Mitropoulos says the cancellation is primarily based on safety, with exposed weather at the event site preventing the construction of the two stages.
“We cannot safely erect the stages required to put on the entertainment. As the weather is forecast to remain poor this situation is unlikely to change.”
The December 31 fireworks display will still be let off from the Tauranga side of the harbour bridge, but will not go ahead from the planned main location on Leisure Island.
Road closures will remain in place in areas north of Banks and Salisbury Avenues in Mount Maunganui from 2pm on New Year’s Eve.
This is to help regulate the heavy traffic flow that is still likely to occur and to help monitor the liquor-free zone.
Bags will still be checked for alcohol at the road cordons and any alcohol found will be confiscated. The liquor-free zones remain in place at all times.
Western Bay of Plenty Police Area Commander, Inspector Mike Clement is urging all Bay of Plenty residents and visitors to take extra care in the coming days – including New Year’s Eve – due to the bad weather.
“The region has seen a great deal of rain in the past couple of days and this is forecast to continue. Our roads are already sodden and driving conditions are more dangerous than usual. Please take extra care out on the roads and drive to the conditions.”
Inspector Clement is also asking people to be sensible about their New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“Whilst the New Year’s Eve event at Mt Maunganui has been cancelled, we know that people will still want to celebrate in some way.
“Plan your night, make sure you have a sober driver, and most importantly, look after yourself and look after your mates – make your New Year one to remember and not one to forget or regret.”
Inspector Clement is also issuing a special request to parents and caregivers – “know where your children are, who they are with and what they are doing.”
Inspector Clement says Western Bay police will still be out in force around Mount Maunganui and the BOP on New Year’s Eve, despite the cancellation of the Mount event.
"It is our job to prevent crime and crash and ensure the safety of our community and we will be very visible and actively policing alcohol-related issues tomorrow night to achieve that. We don’t make any apologies for taking a hard line in this area if it means we can reduce the impact.
"This is a busy time for police, but it is now business as usual for us every year. We plan to be busy during this period and we have the people and resources in place to prevent and manage issues and we simply get on with the job that needs to be done.
"Despite the bad weather, people will still see police out and about in all areas in an effort to reduce alcohol-related harm and to try and keep people safe.”
Police also wish to remind people that the liquor bans in place for the festive season remain in place.
As a result of the event cancellation there will no longer be a Park and Ride service operating on New Year’s Eve.
However, there will still be a vehicle pass issuing station from 2pm on New Year’s Eve at the Park n Ride site at Waimarie Street, off Hewletts Road, for Mount residents or holidaymakers needing to get into the Mount.
Before 2pm on New Year’s Eve vehicle passes can be obtained from the Beach Base at Mount Drury.
The Bayline Coaches NYE bus service to Mount Maunganui is also cancelled. People who have purchased bus tickets should return to the outlet where the ticket was purchased to arrange reimbursement or phone Bayline Coaches on 578 3113 and leave your contact details.
TCC would like to apologise are very sorry for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause.