Stay safe this New Year's Eve

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.

The elements of this year's New Year's Eve community celebrations in Tauranga will focus on creating a safe and enjoyable family-friendly New Year's Eve across the city.

There will be early evening, family-friendly events at the central city waterfront and in Papamoa, with fireworks at 9.30pm at both venues as well as midnight fireworks in the central city.

There will be no entertainment at Mount Maunganui Main Beach, however there will be safe zones, private security teams and the Red Frogs in and around Mount Maunganui to support a NZ Police response on one of the busiest nights in the city.

Both Hopukiore (Mount Drury) and Moturiki (Leisure Island) will be fenced off and the beach will be well lit to create a safer environment for all.

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

  •   •  Plan ahead before you go out.

  •   •  Look after yourself, your mates and your belongings.

  •   •  A graceful exit is as important as a grand entrance – remember to plan how you're getting home and around town.

  •   •  Emergency and safety numbers: Need to call someone? Save the numbers of Police, medical centres and taxis into your phone.

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

Fireworks

Tauranga will welcome the New Year with spectacular midnight fireworks launched from several locations across the city. Watch them from your deck or backyard, ideally from a slightly elevated point. The first display to light up the sky from a barge at the Tauranga waterfront and at Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa will be at the family-friendly time of 9.30pm. There will be no fireworks at Mount Maunganui.

New Year's Eve road closures at Mount Maunganui

A temporary one-way system will be established on the morning of Sunday, December 31 in a clockwise direction from Salisbury Ave along The Mall, Adams Avenue and Marine Parade.

To support the one-way system there will be turning restrictions at key Mount Maunganui peninsula roads.

Only Prince Ave between Victoria Road and Maunganui Road will be fully closed with managed residents' access only.

No additional road closures are expected in order to minimise disruption to residents but there may be changes on the day if required, in consultation with NZ Police.

All affected roads will be open by 8am on January 1 but could be opened earlier if it is safe to do so.

Temporary ‘No parking - tow away zones' will be in place on Marine Parade between Adams Avenue and Pacific Avenue from 6am on December 31 until 8am on January 1. 

Marine Parade, between Adams and Pacific Avenues will be closed each night between 8pm and 6am from December 26 until January 6 (except on New Year's Eve when the one-way system will operate).

The intersections of Commons Avenue and Marine Parade, as well as Grace Avenue and Marine Parade will be closed to vehicle traffic during the day and night for these two weeks, as in previous years.

Vehicle passes for the Mount Maunganui area are not required, however access through the closed area is restricted to residents only. Find the map with all Mount Maunganui road closures online.

New Year's Eve road closures in the CBD

A full road closure will be in place from 2pm, December 31 to 2am, January 1 on The Strand, from Devonport Road roundabout to Harington Street roundabout to ensure a safe event.

Both roundabouts will be open to allow traffic flows. There will be no access to The Strand via Hamilton and Wharf Streets.

Parking on The Strand will be restricted from 6am on December 31 until 8am on January 1 on The Strand. Parking buildings and off-street car parks are free on the day and open 24/7.

Find the map with The Strand road closure online.

Alcohol-free zones

The temporary alcohol-free zone at Mount Maunganui has been extended. The 24-hour-a-day alcohol-free zone in Mount Maunganui expands to include all public areas north of Hull Road and Tweed Street.

It will also include Waiariki Street in Arataki. This will be enforced by NZ Police and runs from December 26 until 6am on January 6. The Strand in Tauranga's CBD is an alcohol and glass-free zone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa is a permanent alcohol-free zone. To enhance safe community celebrations in Papamoa, the permanent alcohol-free zone has been extended to include Alice Way from 10am on December 31 to 6am on January 3.  

Alcohol-free zone maps are available online.

Buses

Bayhopper buses will run normal weekend services on New Year's Eve but there will be no free buses into or out of Mount Maunganui on the night. Normal services resume on New Year's Day. Find more information on regular bus services online.



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Jack-o-lantern in the sunrise. Halloween’s come early this year! Photo: Nicholle Roberson.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz