Celebrate - but take care
Police warn they will be out in numbers tonight checking holiday spots and hotels in the Nelson Bays region to ensure New Year's Eve revellers take a responsible approach to drinking.
The forecast is fine for tonight and celebrations include the free Countdown to New Year community event at the top of Trafalgar St, a ticket-only 24-hour outdoor party up the Maitai Valley limited to 1000, fireworks at Kaiteriteri, and in Golden Bay Salmonella Dub will raise the roof of the Pohara hall.
Police say there will be zero tolerance to breaches of the region's liquor ban areas and all aspects of the new alcohol legislation will be strictly enforced. All drivers can expect to be breath tested.
Acting Tasman Police District Commander Inspector Steve Greally said police would be acting early on information about disorderly behaviour to prevent situations escalating.
A lot of work had been done with licensees to ensure they were well aware of their obligations, he said.
"If you're going out on the town my message is the same as always: Watch how much you drink; look after your mates, and don't get behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking."
It was particularly important that friends ensured that anyone who had been drinking did not wander off on their own, Greally said.
"Unfortunately an intoxicated person is easy prey for criminally minded people."
Police would be paying particular attention to Bridge St, entertainment spots across the district and the beach camps.
Nelson's main New Year's Eve celebration will be the Trafalgar Square Countdown which starts in upper Trafalgar St from 7.30pm with family-friendly entertainment.
The community event is presented by Nelson City Council as part of its Summer in Nelson programme. This year's line-up includes a Nelson duo and four energetic bands that cover a wide spectrum of blues, funk and rock, plus street entertainment.
An alcohol ban is in force in the central city with drinking permitted on only licensed premises.
Traditionally young revellers have headed to Maitai Valley Motor Camp for the B4 New Year party but it is not being held this year after the Nelson police and city council withdrew support.
In previous years there has been up to 1000 young people staying there but today camp manager Carol Wood said it was a lot quieter.
About 50 backpacker tourists and about 100 teenagers, mostly 18 or 19, were staying. She was expecting more but did not know how many and said young people were going to the Happy Nu Yeah outdoor party up the Maitai Valley at Smiths Ford.
At the Riwaka Hotel, Mt Eden, the electronic duo of Jesse Cooper and Harley Rayner will see in the new year supported by Minuit, Diaz Grimm and Broods, Nelson siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott.
In Kaiteriteri a midnight fireworks show is expected to draw a crowd of about 3000.
Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp manager Paul Lovell said the fireworks would be set off from a barge in the bay and that most of the camp's capacity crowd of 2000 would be out to see them, joined by many locals.
As in past years, he was expecting a well-behaved family crowd, since a liquor ban in the public areas of Kaiteriteri is enforced from 4pm. Lovell said police would be monitoring the roads into Kaiteriteri.
"The general feeling is that the young ones can come out and enjoy the beach but they don't tend to want to stay once the liquor ban kicks in," he said.
Because the campground is full, there is no room for last minute campers who may be looking for a site, such as youth who may have camped in the Maitai Valley in previous years, he said.