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A snapshot of New Year's Eve from around New Zealand

Sunday 1st January 2017

We asked people at party spots around the country to reflect on the best and worst of 2016 – and what they’re hoping for from 2017.

Beth and Hannah

Photo: Kate Robertson

Rhythm and Vines 

Beth and Hannah, Hamilton:

How will you be seeing in 2017?

B: We’ve got a list of 10 commandments and one of them is to get on-stage at RnV. I’m going to be on-stage when 2017 comes in.

H: No she won’t.

B: I will be.

What was your best moment in 2016?

B: Definitely moving into the halls of residence in Hamilton. Student Village rocks. I love the accommodation and I love Waikato University. They party like no others.

H: My parents shouted my boyfriend and I a trip to Bali.

What was your worst moment in 2016?

H: Being patted down when I came into RnV. It felt invasive.

B: The security guard pulled my undies out of my bag. That was embarrassing.

H: Watching my student loan grow each semester is depressing too. The Government needs to chill out.

What do you want from 2017?

B: I just want to feel super happy and free. I’d also like a job.

H: I’ll be graduating which is great because I’m sick of being a student. 

DJ Soraya and Bailey Wiley

Photo: Kate Robertson

DJ Soraya, and Bailey Wiley, Hawera, Taranaki:

How will you be seeing in 2017?

B: On a stage. We’ve got two shows on New Year’s Eve - Northern Bass and then straight back to Auckland for Britomart Block Party.

What was your best moment of 2016?

S: My highlight was putting on a show in Auckland for Black Lives Matter. We raised heaps of money and it was the best lineup. 

B: It wasn’t just special for us as artists, but special for us as a community. Everyone who we thought wouldn’t have the time to show up came through.

S: It was really unifying for the music community. It was nice to see everyone get out and do something to raise awareness and be conscious. I felt like all my homies were supporting me. I just wanted to do something to raise the conversation in New Zealand.

B: I would agree with that - best moment.

Was there a worst moment of 2016?

B: Probably my basketball moment. I’m really dyslexic, and I did this interview where they played the word association game. They said NWA and I thought they said NBA, so I was like “Basketball... shit.”

S: That’s a pretty high low moment, you’re living well.

B: It wasn’t too bad. In hindsight it was pretty funny.

What does 2017 look like for you guys?

B: We’re releasing an album!                           

S: I think it will be one of the sickest female albums of all time in New Zealand. It’s going to be a really cool project to put New Zealand music on the map everywhere. And I mean, as long as we’re alive we can do whatever.

Hamish Pinkham

Photo: Kate Robertson

Hamish Pinkham (Rhythm and Vines co-founder), Hawkes Bay:

How will you be seeing in 2017?

We’ve got a really emotive countdown this year, so I’ll be watching that down the front of the Vines Stage with my girlfriend, friends and family.

What was your best moment of 2016?

I had a life-changing trip to Israel. I got a scholarship to spend a week there with 50 music industry professionals. It was a real eye-opener to problems in the Middle East, as well as an opportunity to connect with a lot of new people.

What was your worst moment of 2016?

My mind goes straight to the US election and the direction the world’s going. It feels like a real lack of unity. The breaking off into factions is pretty scary, so I’m happy to be living in New Zealand right now.

What are you expecting from 2017?

I’ve been travelling and rebuilding the festival these past few years, so I’m looking forward to a good 2017 in Auckland. Stability with our business, my lifestyle, health, family, and we’ll be keeping the ship sailing straight leading into our 15 year anniversary.

Wellington house party


Photo: Annabella Gamboni

Lizzie, Wellington:

What was your best moment of 2016?

My favourite day was when Hannah and I were travelling through Cambodia, and the day we went to Ankhor Wat. We had gotten up really early to walk up there and everything, like 4am, and then we got there and we were looking around, and then… We went to this other side where no other people were and watched the sunrise, and it was beautiful.

What was your worst moment of 2016?

It has to be Donald Trump - that’s the most what the hell moment. But personally, I mean, applying to so many jobs and getting rejected was hard. It’s my first year out of uni, and I know that’s not unusual. But it was probably the worst aspect of the year.

What are you expecting from 2017?

Next year I want to get a job, I guess [laughs]. But I also want to create more, and like - I’m always saying I have a great idea for a short film, or whatever. But I want to actually do it.

Samuya with her boyfriend.

Photo: Annabella Gamboni

Sumaya, Wellington:

What was your best moment of 2016?

Oh my god, I’m going to sound like such a teenage girl here. But my best moment was meeting my boyfriend. We met at honours graduation, and then he asked me out.

What was your worst moment of 2016?

I got a bad mark in one of my papers. I got a B+, which, I know! It doesn’t even sound bad. But it meant I didn’t get a scholarship.

What are you expecting from 2017?

My 2017? Better be a lot fucking better than 2016!

Wonder Garden, Silo Park

Brandi and Alexa

Photo: Yadana Saw

Brandi and Alexis, Vancouver, Canada:

How are you seeing out 2016? 

B: We came here because it was the only thing we could find to do. and we've never been to a New Zealand music festival.

Best moment of the year, here? 

B: Travelling. We've just been around the South Island.

What are you expecting out of your NYE? 

A: Good memories and new experiences.

Sam and Jackson

Photo: Yadana Saw

Sam and Jackson, Auckland:

How are you seeing out 2016?

S: In the past years we haven't done anything big for New Year's, so we came here.

Have you been to a music festival before? 

S: Yes, this is my tenth one. I've been to WOMAD and Splore before.

Best moment of the year: 

J: I've never been to a music festival so this is a really cool thing.

Plans for the future: 

J: I am definitely going to more music festivals.



Photo: Kahu Kutia

Obadiah, Whakatane:

How long have you been doing this business?

30 years! I’ve been doing it in Tauranga, and I just moved here, and people recognise me from Tauranga, I’m well-known.

How are you seeing out 2016?

Its amazing what people do! I’ve been saving up to get a scooter, and in the last two weeks I’ve made $1000! The community heard my story, and have supported me. I’m finally going to get a scooter, that’s the first thing I’m going to do in the new year.

What kind of scooter are you going to get?

Its nice, it costs $4000!

What was the best part of 2016 for you?

Moving here?

What was the worst?

Nothing really. I always look at the positive side. I dont dwell on negatives.

What are you expecting from the new year?

Everything is going to be good.

Te Marunui Hotene

Photo: Kahu Kutia

Te Marunui Hotene, Ruatoki:

How are you seeing out 2016?

I don’t really celebrate holidays. I’m not cynical though! Everyone's really politically correct eh?

What was your best moment of 2016?

I dont know how to contemplate that. I guess two things: First, meeting the missus, and two, I had my second show, that was great.

So you’re an artist?

Yeah, I’m an artist. I work with identity, specifically urban Māori identity.

What was your worst moment of 2016?

It’s interesting the difference in your expectations of living with people, and the reality. Some people you just can’t live with. Living with my friend ‘Marcus the Mischief’ was difficult.

What are you expecting from the new year?

I’m expecting to finish my masters, and to start my PhD. I think I’m too keen to get into it now, I think I’m going to have to wait till next year. Also funding! 


Taylor Rapley

Photo: Janie Cameron

Taylor Rapley, Wanaka:

How are you seeing out 2016?

Here on the farm in Twizel with everyone who wanted to get away from the Wanaka crowds this year.

Best moment of the year?

The best thing for me personally would have to be moving from the city back to my hometown of Wanaka and just getting back to the elements and the nature, because you don’t realise what you’ve got until you don’t have it around you. Also, I’ve been noticing lately, our generation is being really environmentally conscious which I think is really cool. I’ve noticed quite a gap between ours and our parent’s generation where we’re slowly becoming more conscious.

Worst moment of the year?

I’ve battled quite a bit with my health this year, and dealing with our healthcare system has been really, really frustrating. They treat the symptom, not the cause.  

What are you expecting from 2017?

For me, just to let things happen a bit more. I’m a really active person and I just need to sit back and let things just pan out. I spend so much time trying to make things happen for myself and often they’re not the things I want. For the world, I’d like to see more active forms of activism and less social media crap. I want to see people try and use social media more productively. Like, everyone feels very strongly and has an opinion about lots of stuff but no one actually does anything about it - including myself. 

Luke Kneller

Photo: Janie Cameron

Luke Kneller, New South Wales, now living in Twizel:

How are you seeing out 2016?

With my lovely girlfriend and a bunch of mates from Australia and New Zealand here on the farm in Twizel.

Worst moment of the year?

It’s not so much a moment, but I think the worst thing about 2016 is actually the media. I just think the model of the media now is about the most clicks, the most views and that has kind of led to crap, fake news and I feel like that’s the reason why Brexit and why Trump and all these bad things have happened.

I think the root cause of them is the media, specifically social media. The fact that more people have a voice and more people listen to it and it just kind of grows into this entity of itself and it’s just bullshit - all of it. And it spreads like wildfire because dumb people listen to dumb people.

Best moment of the year?

Personally, returning safely from my 10-month, 30,000km motorcycle journey from England to Australia was the best thing for me. Traveling is fantastic but it was really, really nice to come home.

What are you expecting from 2017?

I have good expectations. Everyone is saying how bad this year was and you can’t have the good without the negative so I think if anything, Brexit and Trump and all of these things are just going to be the catalyst for change.

I also reckon there’ll be a big rise in artificial intelligence this year, but maybe I’ve been watching too much Westworld. 


Contributors: Rhythm and Vines Kate Robertson, Wellington – Annabella Gamboni, Wondergarden – Yadana Saw, Whakatane – Kahu Kutia, Twizel – Janie Cameron.

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