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New Year's Celebrations Kick Off

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Year's Celebrations Kick Off

By Shabnam Dastgheib of NZPA

Wellington, Dec 31 NZPA - Celebrations to farewell 2010 and bring in the new year will soon begin, with dry and warm weather forecast for most of the country.

Many popular campgrounds are booked out and campers are no doubt welcoming the fine forecast after a wet and stormy week put many people's summer holidays on hold.

The weather was finally looking "stunning" in Golden Bay after this week's flooding.

Golden Bay Holiday Park manager Karyn Marden said a few tents had been washed away and some people had left, but the park was quickly drying out and was back to maximum capacity.

"We have about 400 people staying with us tonight and it will be a really big sociable party atmosphere," she told NZPA.

Many people chose to apply for fire permits and make bonfires on the beach, and the park would put on outdoor movies for the kids.

Glentanner Park manager Viv Arthur said their park was expecting a quiet family-centred evening and the weather was looking good.

"We have got 200 people at the moment and there are heaps of kids running around and many barbeques," Ms Arthur said.

The major festivals like CoroGold in Whitianga, Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne and brand new La De Da in Martinborough will deliver major musical acts to sell-out crowds.

Wellington council will be putting on a gathering for all ages on the city's waterfront with buskers, bands, fire-dancers and performance artists. Clocks will be projected on to the Michael Fowler Centre at Civic Square for the midnight countdown.

In Christchurch, celebrations had been under threat after Boxing Day aftershocks damaged buildings but the traditional party has been given the green light. About 15,000 people are expected to say goodbye to the year that brought the city the magnitude 7.1 quake.

"After the Boxing Day aftershocks, there is more reason than ever for people to get together and celebrate the beginning of a New Year," acting mayor Ngaire Button said.

Police are hoping for a quiet night with liquor bans in place and police numbers being boosted in many places, including Whangamata, Mt Maunganui, Queenstown and Wanaka.

Most places were looking dry and warm according to Weatherwatch, but there were a few weak fronts. Showers are likely during the day in Northland, Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and the East Cape but are predicted to die out into the evening.

A few showers may also affect some southern and eastern coastal parts of the South Island, but overall conditions look dry.

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