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Happy New Year! Auckland light show welcomes 2022

The Year 2022 started off with a spectacular light show in Auckland.

In celebration, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Sky Tower and Auckland War Memorial Museum were lit up from 9pm, with a full light show at midnight.

Thousands of people crowded the docks, pubs, nightclubs and streets waiting for the countdown at the Auckland Viaduct.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Thousands of people crowded the docks, pubs, nightclubs and streets waiting for the countdown at the Auckland Viaduct.

Aucklanders celebrate New Year's Eve at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland CBD.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Aucklanders celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland CBD.

The traditional and highly anticipated fireworks show was cancelled due to the risk of Covid-19 among crowds gathering to watch the fireworks.

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* Auckland’s year in pictures: The best news photos of 2021 from Stuff’s visual journalists
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People sitting at the Auckland Viaduct waiting for the New Year's Eve countdown.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

People sitting at the Auckland Viaduct waiting for the New Year’s Eve countdown.

With the cancellation of the usual fireworks display to count into the new year, a light show was displayed on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

With the cancellation of the usual fireworks display to count into the new year, a light show was displayed on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower.

01012022 News Photo: Abigail Dougherty/Stuff. Aucklanders celebrate New Years Eve at the viaduct harbour in Auckland CBD. With the cancelation of the usual fireworks display to count into the new year, a light show was displayed on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower. Thousands of people crowded the docks, pubs, nightclubs and streets waiting for the countdown.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

01012022 News Photo: Abigail Dougherty/Stuff. Aucklanders celebrate New Years Eve at the viaduct harbour in Auckland CBD. With the cancelation of the usual fireworks display to count into the new year, a light show was displayed on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower. Thousands of people crowded the docks, pubs, nightclubs and streets waiting for the countdown.

At 10.30pm, people were seen at the Auckland Viaduct, waiting in anticipation for the New Year’s Eve countdown.

In Wellington, the sky will be lit up with beams from the Tūrama 2020 light sculpture in the centre of the city at midnight.

The annual New Year’s Eve fireworks and Whairepo Lagoon event on Wellington’s waterfront were cancelled.

As midnight neared, hundreds of teenagers gathered at Williamson Park in Whangamatā.

Police were stationed at every corner of the park and had a heavy presence around the crowd.

Police are stationed at every corner of Williamson Park in Whangamatā, and had a heavy presence around the crowd.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

Police are stationed at every corner of Williamson Park in Whangamatā, and had a heavy presence around the crowd.

There was a liquor ban at the council-owned park, and officers could be seen arresting anyone carrying alcohol.

St John has a safe zone set up at the Whangamatā War Memorial Hall to care for intoxicated people in need of help.

Hundreds of teenagers are gathering at Whangamatā’s Williamson Park.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

Hundreds of teenagers are gathering at Whangamatā’s Williamson Park.

St John Hauraki territory manager John Armitt was preparing for a busy night.

Bars on Oxford Tce in central Christchurch hummed with families and friends out for drinks around 7.30pm as bars prepared for a big night ahead.

It’s a Girl’s Night Out in Christchurch to celebrate New Year's Eve.

STACY SQUIRES/Stuff

It’s a Girl’s Night Out in Christchurch to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The annual New Year’s Eve party in North Hagley Park, which normally attracts about 20,000 people with music and fireworks, was called off last month by the Christchurch City Council.

Co-owner of popular bar gin gin, Luke Dawkins, said it was “the calm before the storm” as staff set up for a band to perform at 10pm. People dressed up with drinks in hand already lined the seats and filled the tables outside.

Kate Straight and Olivia Kempton outside Paddy McNaughton's on Manchester St in Christchurch enjoying the warm, still evening before 2022 begins.

STACY SQUIRES/Stuff

Kate Straight and Olivia Kempton outside Paddy McNaughton’s on Manchester St in Christchurch enjoying the warm, still evening before 2022 begins.

At newly opened Paddy McNaughton’s Irish Pub, live music already flowed through the venue and staff expected the night to get much busier. Kine Diallo was there with her parents, and said it was “definitely” a relief they could go out to celebrate the New Year despite another year riddled with Covid-19.

With a new variant of Covid-19 to possibly contend with, and more of the country now in the orange setting of the traffic light system, 2022 will certainly come with its challenges.

Melinda Brownsword, Kine Diallo, and Richard Brownsword inside Paddy McNaughton's on Manchester St.

STACY SQUIRES/Stuff

Melinda Brownsword, Kine Diallo, and Richard Brownsword inside Paddy McNaughton’s on Manchester St.

Retailers and restaurateurs will be looking forward to increased business in the new year, with fewer Covid-19 related restrictions for most of New Zealand.

And the MetService is predicting a “sweltering” start to the year with highs of 30 or 31 degrees Celsius in some towns.

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