A large walk-up crowd swelled the numbers of revellers
celebrating New Year's Eve festivities in central Dunedin.
Rain earlier in the day failed to deter the hundreds of
people who gathered from 8pm to watch the live entertainment
in the Octagon.
As the Civic Centre clock came closer to midnight those
numbers grew in the thousands, as they welcomed 2013 with a
mass countdown, and the firing of the Robbie Burns cannon.
While wind forced the cancellation of Wellington's New Year's
Eve fireworks display, a calm Dunedin night resulted in the
city welcoming 2013 with a bang.
The city's $10,000 fireworks display from the Civic Centre
roof was expected to last seven minutes but was over in five;
not that the large crowd cared.
Organisers hoped fine weather would attract a crowd of around
20,000 to the annual celebrations, and they would be
delighted with the 17degC summer's evening as every available
space became full of eager spectators.
Dunedin Police Senior Sergeant Bruce Ross said, as of
midnight, police had made only four arrests, ''but the night
In Queenstown, despite an earlier threat of cancellation
owing to weather, the New Year fireworks display went ahead,
book-ended by steam whistles from the Earnslaw.
Thousands of revellers in the resort refused to let poor
weather sour their start to 2013, and blustery winds abated
enough to let the fireworks display proceed, though rain
continued to fall.
The town's streets were earlier teeming with people heading
for packed bars, restaurants, clubs and cafes.
Police had been bolstered in advance by the usual contingent
of about 50 staff from around the Southern district for New
Year's Eve. Uniformed officers are keeping a highly visible
profile downtown in groups on foot and in marked and unmarked
Earlier, live acts did their best to keep the spirits of
chilled revellers up, beginning with youth band the
Fletcherz, with their set of crowd pleasing rock and roll
covers from the playbooks of the Strokes, Nirvana, the
Rolling Stones and many more, including their own material,
The glamorous Wakatipu trio of women known as the Sequin
Sisters chimed in with a set packed with disco anthems.
In Wanaka, thousands of mainly young people gathered in the
centre of town to listen to local bands and wait for the
midnight fireworks display.
A little light rain fell as the clock ticked towards midnight
but did nothing to disrupt celebrations. By 10.30pm Wanaka
police reported just one arrest - for a breach of the liquor
ban in central Wanaka.
Blustery conditions were blamed for a smaller crowd at the
Clyde Street Party, where a band entertained a crowd
estimated at 1000 before a piper ushered in the new year.
In South Otago, about 350 people braved drizzle and gathered
at the foreshore in Pounawea to welcome the new year.
Sheep racing, a barbecue and a live band kept the crowd
entertained until the fireworks at midnight.