Fireworks, festivals, stars and lasers: NZ marks colourful start to 2017
New Zealand has welcomed 2017 in style with parties roaring into the early hours, Hollywood stars indulging in holiday hotspots and a former Prime Minister's son providing the soundtrack to the country's biggest fireworks display.
As the first major nation in the world to change the calendar (credit to Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati who got in one hour earlier) Kiwis wasted no time embracing the party cheer.
Auckland marked the New Year with an explosive display as 500kg of fireworks were launched into the sky in five minutes.
DJ Max Key, son of former Prime Minister John Key, was responsible for the music choices at the stroke of midnight as lasers beamed onto the side of the Sky Tower.
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Actors and actresses took in the attractions, with high-profile visits from Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco in Nelson, comedy king Sacha Baron Cohen and his actress wife Isla Fisher in Queenstown and Auckland and some top tennis aces, including Serena and Venus Williams, in Auckland.
Twilight actress Ashley Greene capped off her holiday by getting engaged to boyfriend Paul Khoury, who popped the question at Bridal Veil Falls in Raglan.
World number two tennis player Serena Williams, who recently got engaged to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the social media company Reddit, took in the sights of Waiheke Island, ahead of the ASB classic where she will take on challengers including sister Venus and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.
Cuoco, the 31-year-old American actress kept Nelson wineries busy as she and her boyfriend Karl Cook tasted their way around the region.
Fisher, Baron Cohen and their children spent time in Queenstown and made a snowman on top of a glacier before heading up to Auckland for New Year's Eve.
Free New Year festivities at Christchurch's North Hagley Park and Wellington's Frank Kitts Park were popular spots as bands and fireworks entertained the crowds.
At Rhythm and Vines (Gisborne) and Rhythm and Alps (Cardrona Valley) festivals, thousands danced their way into the New Year with performances from Chance the Rapper, Kimbra, and RUFUS.
Wanaka attracted a large turnout of holidaymakers but police were extra vigilant there after the antics of drunken revellers at Ruby Island on Thursday ended with hundreds having to be rescued from the lake.
Police said there had been a few minor assaults but no major incidents. Rain shortly after midnight saw revellers - many intoxicated - rush indoors after marking 2017's arrival.
Meanwhile, Mount Maunganui had to make do without its annual party at the Mount Main beach, which was banned after a string of violent crimes in recent years.
Police said they were making their presence felt across the country, with extra staff at holiday spots including Northland, Mt Maunganui, Coromandel Peninsula and Queenstown.
A focus was also on countering possible terror threats, with police saying they and partner agencies "are continually working to ensure the safety of the New Zealand public".