Festival organisers in countdown mode
New Year revellers have begun their pilgrimage to party hot spots, hoping for better weather than the torrential rain that plagued last year's celebrations.
Martinborough festival La De Da organiser Josh Mossman said 5500 tickets had been sold and it was hoped all 7500 would be snapped up by Sunday.
This year the amount of allocated tickets had been scaled back to offer a more intimate experience.
The first year of the festival in 2010 had attracted 12,500 people, while 9000 attended last year.
"What we're trying to do is create more of a boutique festival, the idea is La De Da is a Wellington festival and for people that don't want to travel for the bigger festivals."
While he was happy with ticket sales, Mossman said the more expensive VIP tickets had not sold well.
After the horrendous weather last year, staff had enjoyed the brilliant weather in the past week while setting up, he said.
But the dry heat had brought new problems, with 100,000 litres of water needing to be trucked in to dampen down the dust.
His picks for the festival were US hip-hop act De La Soul on December 30 and Kiwi electronic act Shapeshifter's New Year's Eve countdown set.
Up to 35 Wairarapa police officers will work on December 30, 50 on New Year's Eve, and 14 more on New Year's Day.
Yesterday, crowds had begun swarming into Gisborne for the country's largest New Year's Eve festival, Rhythm and Vines.
The three-day event begins tomorrow with a lineup including Kimbra and The Nudge.
Tairawhiti area commander Inspector Sam Aberahama said massive queues had formed yesterday and heavy traffic had led to several minor accidents.
In one lucky escape a car plunged about 15 metres down Waioeka Gorge.
The three occupants were travelling to the festival. Friends in the convoy picked them up and took them to Gisborne Hospital.
Planned drink-driving checkpoints were postponed so traffic could move more freely, but the public could expect a beefed-up police presence and multiple stops in the next five days.
Checkpoints on the outskirts of Gisborne would be used to deter pre-loading, with stops set up at both the northern and southern approaches to the city.
A team of 100 police from the area would be mobilised for the event, while extra officers from Auckland and Wellington had also been called in.
Other large New Year festivals in the North Island include Coromandel Gold near Whitianga and Northern Bass in Mangawhai.
The Dominion Post