Tauranga New Year‘s coverage

There are five community events across Tauranga this evening to celebrate the New Year. Photo: Daniel Hines.

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LIVE: 12.15am This evening hundreds of people congregated on the Tauranga waterfront, at Papamoa, Mount Maunganui and Matua to watch the midnight fireworks that heralded in the New Year.

The city-wide firework shows were viewable from many locations across Tauranga, with residents being able to watch the midnight show from their own backyard or deck.  

In the city centre The Strand was closed off, allowing people to stroll along the waterfront. Bars and restaurants were packed full with revellers, singing and enjoying the celebrations and balmy evening. 

As the countdown began, hundreds joined in and cheered as the year that was 2020 ended.

Fireworks at midnight on the Tauranga waterfront

Hundreds of people gathered along the Tauranga waterfront to celebrate New Year's Eve

At The Strand in downtown Tauranga on New Year's Eve.

Fireworks at The Strand in Tauranga,

Watching the fireworks on The Strand in Tauranga. Photo: John Borren.

Fireworks in Tauranga. Photo: Describe Media Services.

It’s time to celebrate the end of 2020 and welcome in the new year. SunLive are out this evening capturing the moments as we count down to 2021.


Tauranga’s New Year’s Eve community celebrations kick off from 6pm tonight with five events across the city.


10pm - Greerton came alive this evening with hundreds of people turning out to enjoy the entertainment at Tauranga Racecourse. 

The entrance area to the racecourse became a delightful village green with a gentle incline that served as a seating area bordered by trees and providing a natural amphitheater. 


There are only two food trucks at this event providing coffee and icecream, so people were encouraged to also bring along a picnic dinner.

Performers from Circus in a Flash and Flames of Plenty entertained while Camila Lenhart and Mount Maunganui three-piece covers band Indecisive played on the stage. The evening, hosted by Brad Hemmingway from More FM Bay of Plenty Bands ended with a spectacular high energy music laser light show captivating and wowing the crowd below it.


The laser light show at Greerton

The laser light show at Greerton


Crowds enjoying the music and entertainment as the sun set at Tauranga Racecourse in Greerton.


Kelly Mawkes and Natasha Bevan.

The community event at Greerton draw many families to enjoy the music and entertainers

Fiona McClure from Flames of Plenty was an instant hit dancing at the Greerton community event.


Rowan Ford Dawson from Circus in a Flash


Mount Maunganui three-piece covers band Indecisive playing at the Greerton event


Mount Maunganui three-piece covers band Indecisive playing at the Greerton event


Rowan Ford Dawson from Circus in a Flash


Raven Ahipene from Flames of Plenty.


Kail Dixon age 11 and Paul Rankin age 10

Mount Maunganui three-piece covers band Indecisive playing at the Greerton event


The laser light show in Greerton

Bubbles from a Flames of Plenty entertainer delights children at the Greerton community event. Photo: Deborah Berry.


8pm Papamoa. It’s a perfect end to the year with the sun setting over Papamoa this evening.

Hundreds of people have flocked into the Gordon Spratt Reserve to enjoy the music and entertainment.

Food trucks, rides, activities and entertainment from My Little Monkeys are being enjoyed while children and families eat, play and sit back on picnic blankets to soak in the music vibes.

There are bouncy castles, a Sumo wrestler area, and roving entertainment including dancers from Flames of Plenty doing hoop, poi and magic wand. Olaf, a hooper and a unicyclist from Circus in a Flash are also roaming through the crowds entertaining them as they picnic.


Acoustic duo Izzy & Mo are performing, and will be followed by Auckland band Levi.


Sports activities are being enjoyed by many with Will Johnston from The Hits Bay of Plenty hosting the event which is free and picnic friendly. The evening will finish with fireworks at 9.30pm.


Olaf from My Little Monkeys entertaining the crowds at the Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa.

Auckland band Levi at Papamoa.


Papamoa Lions raising funds for the community with a sausage sizzle at the Papamoa community event


Sitting around a long table at Papamoa are members of the Jamieson and Mahoney families all from out of town.

Crowds enjoying picnic, music and entertainers at the Papamoa event


Three generations of the Murrell family from Papamoa

Siblings preparing to wrestle each other  -  Bethany Mahoney and Brya Mahoney in the sumo costumes.

Matthew Park with his son Louie Park age six at Papamoa.

Crowds enjoying picnic, music and entertainers at the Papamoa event.



Kinsee Shallcross and Kim Ryder at Papamoa

Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa. Photo: Describe Media Services.

6.30pm At Blake Park people from all over Tauranga are coming together to celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends. Ash Laforteza is performing and will be followed by Toner and Franks on stage.


There is also roving entertainment with Flames of Plenty, and there are sports activities, bouncy castles, a climbing wall, and plenty of food trucks on site, with the evening hosted by Brin Rudkin from More FM Bay of Plenty.


The evening will finish with fireworks at 9.30pm. Remember to scan in with the COVID app, bring cash as eftpos facilities may not be available from all vendors. Mobility parking closer to the stage, and water bottle refilling stations are also available


Performers from Flames of Plenty at Blake Park


Tell Kuka with his sons Malachi age nine and Te Omeka age three at Blake Park

Suzy Reilly, Carol Armstrong, Melina Perry, and Brianna Perry at Blake Park


Ash Laforteza and friend performing on stage at Blake Park.



Ski Wisnesky and Gloria Wilson from Ohauiti enjoying the atmosphere at Blake Park

Enjoying the family atmosphere at Blake Park. Photo: Describe Media Services.

Enjoying the family atmosphere at Blake Park. Photo: Describe Media Services.

6pm. In downtown Tauranga, musicians and performers are entertaining the crowds that have gathered along the waterfront.

Families are out enjoying the friendly atmosphere, and being able to walk along part of The Strand which is closed off to traffic. There are no food vendors at this event, as there are a huge variety of cafes, bars and restaurants open.

Sophie Gibson and The Native Poms are performing live while roving performers from Circus in a Flash and Flames of Plenty roam through the crowd, entertaining them with juggling, stiltwalking and bubbles.

Acting Mayor, Tina Salisbury, says it is great to see more people than ever come to this year's New Year's Eve community celebrations in the Tauranga city centre, Greerton, Matua, Blake Park and Papamoa.

"To see more than 12,000 people come together to enjoy the events, live music, entertainment and fireworks was a great way to round off 2020," says Tina.

A stiltwalker and juggler from Circus in a Flash entertaining the crowds in downtown Tauranga. Photo: John Borren

Performers from Flames of Plenty on the Tauranga waterfront. Photo: John Borren

6pm At Matua there’s a warm summer breeze and a blue sky over the park as people arrive with picnic blankets and chairs to enjoy the summer evening ahead.

Fergusson Park has a stage set up at one end with food trucks, rides, swing ball, and other activities. Entertainers from Circus in a Flash and Flames of Plenty are delighting the gathering crowd.

Decibels and the Hit Men will be performing during the evening which is hosted by Jolene James from The Breeze.

A parking area is available for people with mobility challenges close to the stage area and a low sensory space has been provided to cater to those who find loud noises and crowds of people overwhelming.

"The low sensory area at Matua means that people who usually can't come to these events plus their families can still come along and enjoy it," says Stacey Roche who is working with Tauranga City Council to assist with providing a low sensory aspect to the event.

A room in the Fergusson Park clubrooms has been set aside as a quiet space that people can still enjoy the event from.

The evening at Matua will finish after the 9.30pm fireworks display. 


Event organiser Sarah Wood with event host Jolene James from The Breeze at Fergusson Park


People gathering at Matua in front of the main stage

Enjoying the vibe at Matua.

Enjoying the vibe at Matua.

Each event has a COVID-19 tracing app sign for the public to scan themselves in as they arrive


Stacey Roche at Matua


It’s been a gruelling year for many, and Tauranga has a huge lot of great entertainment lined up for the five free community events across the city tonight, and we hope to see you in front of our cameras as we continue our rolling coverage.

All five community events run from 6pm to 9.30pm, so bring your family, friends, a water bottle, sunblock and come on down to enjoy the night. All events are alcohol and smoke-free event, proudly brought to you by Tauranga City Council.

Fergusson Park at Matua, Blake Park at Mount Maunganui, Gordon Spratt Reserve at Papamoa, the Tauranga waterfront and Tauranga Racecourse at Greerton will be hosting the five events.


Dinner is covered with many food stalls offering a great variety of dinner options. All vendors will have mobile EFTPOS.


On arriving at the events please make sure you scan the event QR code or manually sign it at the info tent, and practice good hygiene at the event. If you are feeling unwell please stay home.


The Matua event will have an accessible and low sensory event open from 5.30pm to 6pm with the general event starting from 6pm. The Decibels and the Hit Men will be performing here along with roving entertainment from Flames of Plenty.


At the waterfront on the Strand a local radio MC will be hosting with Sophie Gibson and The Native Poms performing as well as sports activities and roving entertainment from Circus in a Flash and Flames of Plenty.


At the Papamoa event, there will be food stalls, with Auckland band Levi onstage from 7.30pm until 9.30pm.


At Blake Park, Ash Laforteza and Toner and Franks will be performing onstage. There will also be plenty of food stalls, large tables to eat at and roving entertainers and activities.


At the Tauranga Racecourse in Greerton, there will only be a small number of food stalls and people are encouraged to bring along a picnic. Camila Lenhart and Mount Maunganui three-piece covers band Indecisive will be onstage.

The first fireworks to light up the sky tonight will be at the family-friendly time of 9.30pm at community events at the City Centre Waterfront, Blake Park, Gordon Spratt Reserve, and at Fergusson Park. The 9.30pm fireworks will be viewable from across the city.

Due to the horses at Tauranga Racecourse, the Greerton community celebration will feature a 9.30pm laser light show in place of fireworks.

Midnight fireworks

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.


Fireworks can be scary for animals, so keep your pets safe inside this New Year’s Eve. Keep the blinds closed and the TV or radio on to help drown out the noise.


All events are alcohol and smoke free. Water refill stations will be available onsite, so attendees can bring along their own bottles to refill them. With the sun still strong in the early evening, people are also encouraged to slip, slop, slap and wrap. Please note some of the amusement rides will not have EFTPOS facilities so cash is best.


Please remember to keep your pets inside.


Mount Maunganui road closures:

Traffic management over the New Year period will result in road closures on Marine Parade between Adams and Pacific Avenues from 8pm to 6am on December 30, 2019, and January 1-3, 2020.


Tauranga City Council, NZ Police and other key organisations will continue to work together to support a safer environment for Tauranga’s residents and visitors.


SunLive plans to capture some of the moments as performers and musicians entertain the crowds.

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Posted on 01-01-2021 15:04 | By morepork

Thankfully, not ALL our kids are "brats"...