Lifeguard hours on lifeguarded beaches in the New Plymouth District will be extended this summer thanks to increased funding from the New Plymouth District Council.  East End Guards Julia Padrutt, 18, and Josh Thorburn, 17, were all smiles at the news in November.  At the end of November, the water warmed to unusual temperatures and many people were already bathing on the beaches in the district.

vanessa laurie / stuff

Lifeguard hours on lifeguarded beaches in the New Plymouth District will be extended this summer thanks to increased funding from the New Plymouth District Council. East End Guards Julia Padrutt, 18, and Josh Thorburn, 17, were all smiles at the news in November. At the end of November, the water warmed to unusual temperatures and many people were already bathing on the beaches in the district.

Our photographers, Vanessa Laurie and Simon o’connor, have selected their five favorite photos from last year. Enjoy!

Covid-19 posed many challenges for business owners in 2021. In October, Home Love & Mette K housewares store owner in Fitzroy Mette Kirchheiner urged people to buy local for Christmas and buy early because it looked like there might be another lockdown as the Delta variant loomed.  Fortunately, no lockdowns took place and area residents were able to shop normally ahead of the holiday season.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

Covid-19 posed many challenges for business owners in 2021. In October, Home Love & Mette K housewares store owner in Fitzroy Mette Kirchheiner urged people to buy local for Christmas and buy early because it looked like there might be another lockdown as the Delta variant loomed. Fortunately, no lockdowns took place and area residents were able to shop normally ahead of the holiday season.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Taranaki in October.  She met Naica Quensell, 6, of Westown Elementary School while she was visiting a mobile vaccination clinic in Tavistock.  St. Taranaki had the worst vaccination rate in the country in a long time, but is expected to reach the double dose rate of 90% among eligible populations by the end of the year.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Taranaki in October. She met Naica Quensell, 6, of Westown Elementary School while she was visiting a mobile vaccination clinic in Tavistock. St. Taranaki had the worst vaccination rate in the country in a long time, but is expected to reach the double dose rate of 90% among eligible populations by the end of the year.

Taranaki musician Jack Moser released a single to fight suicide in December.  The song, titled Love is Blind, was written after a friend died in 2019. Moser, 18, travels playing music with his specially designed lightweight grand piano.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

Taranaki musician Jack Moser released a single to fight suicide in December. The song, titled Love is Blind, was written after a friend died in 2019. Moser, 18, travels playing music with his specially designed lightweight grand piano.

There were smiles to rival the Cheshire Cat when the old people of Taranaki celebrated International Day of the Elderly.  Age Concern Taranaki held Mad Hatter Tea Party-themed gatherings in New Plymouth and Hāwera, each attracting around 30 people.  Dawn Spackman, pictured, was one of those who attended the New Plymouth event.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

There were smiles to rival the Cheshire Cat when the old people of Taranaki celebrated International Day of the Elderly. Age Concern Taranaki held Mad Hatter Tea Party-themed gatherings in New Plymouth and Hāwera, each attracting around 30 people. Dawn Spackman, pictured, was one of those who attended the New Plymouth event.

In April, the crew of HMNZS Aotearoa held their charter ceremony and parade at Puke Ariki Landing.  Lt. Shaun O'Halloran was part of the crew as they made their way through the CBD.  Port Taranaki is considered the home port of the ship.

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

In April, the crew of HMNZS Aotearoa held their charter ceremony and parade at Puke Ariki Landing. Lt. Shaun O’Halloran was part of the crew as they made their way through the CBD. Port Taranaki is considered the home port of the ship.

In November, the Tasman Sea already looked like summer.  Mitch Tamati performs what is called a backhand float on a fun wave at Back Beach in New Plymouth.  The beach becomes very popular with surfers in summer because it often attracts a little more swell than other beaches in the city.

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

In November, the Tasman Sea already looked like summer. Mitch Tamati performs what is called a backhand float on a fun wave at Back Beach in New Plymouth. The beach becomes very popular with surfers in summer because it often attracts a little more swell than other beaches in the city.

2021 was the year of the vaccine and mass vaccinations have taken place across the country.  In August, an event for essential workers was held at TSB Stadium.

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

2021 was the year of the vaccine and mass vaccinations have taken place across the country. In August, an event for essential workers was held at TSB Stadium.

In June, it snowed heavily in central Taranaki.  Schools have been closed in Stratford and the city's children have benefited to the fullest.  These horses didn't seem to mind white matter either.

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

In June, it snowed heavily in central Taranaki. Schools have been closed in Stratford and the city’s children have benefited to the fullest. These horses didn’t seem to mind white matter either.

Summer 2020/21 has been one of the best for concerts in Taranaki.  Six60's sold-out show at the Bowl of Brooklands was one of the highlights, as frontman Matiu Walters knows how to get the crowd moving.  The group even got to surf with Paige Hareb before their concert.

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

Summer 2020/21 has been one of the best for concerts in Taranaki. Six60’s sold-out show at the Bowl of Brooklands was one of the highlights, as frontman Matiu Walters knows how to get the crowd moving. The group even got to surf with Paige Hareb before their concert.