News & Events

NZ Tattoo date announced

Friday May 31 2019

Palmerston North City Council is pleased to announce the new date for the New Zealand Tattoo as Saturday 4 April 2020.

The New Zealand Defence Force is taking part in the event alongside hundreds of other participants, including pipe and drum bands from throughout New Zealand. Together they are set to deliver a much anticipated, spectacular show at Central Energy Trust Arena.

The New Zealand Tattoo will feature 600-plus top quality performers and will be a uniquely New Zealand show with a theme of "honouring our homecoming heroes" in recognition of the end of WW1 and New Zealanders returning home, with particular significance to the Māori Battalion and its association with Palmerston North.

“We’ve appreciated the patience of our event partners, performers, contractors and ticket holders while we have worked with all parties to confirm a new date,” says Heather Shotter, CEO PNCC.

“We have the full support of the NZDF to deliver the Tattoo on 4 April 2020. It was always our intention for Palmerston North to host the show as our way of honouring the NZDF, their heritage and contribution to our city and the country.”

Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Kevin Short, said he welcomed the announcement of the new date: “We look forward to the NZDF being able to participate in and support this great event. It reflects the importance of the NZDF to this region and the significance of this region to the NZDF.”

The event’s format is expected to remain the same as planned for this year’s event, however, as there are many participants involved, the details of the programme are currently being confirmed.

Tickets will go on sale later in the year, with priority given to those who purchased tickets to this year’s show. Ticket prices are expected to remain the same and there will also be VIP hospitality options offered. 

NZ Tattoo 2020 Q&As

Why is the event on 4 April?

This is the earliest date all performers and the event venue could be confirmed.

Why is the show one night, when it was previously two nights?

A considerable number of our performers volunteer their time to be part of the NZ Tattoo; reducing the time required from their working week was important to securing their availability for the new date in 2020.

There were several learnings from coordinating the logistics of the 2019 event, as such we felt it would be better to condense the show to one night.

Community feedback showed there was a greater appetite for Saturday night’s performance and that it was more accessible; we have responded by planning the show for just Saturday night.

Why does Council consider it is now appropriate to deliver this kind of show?

A decision was made that it would be inappropriate to host an event of this nature featuring military gun fire and explosions so close to such a traumatic event for all New Zealand. In addition there was hightened security concerns surrounding events and festivals throughout the country.

The new date of 4 April 2020 falls over a year from that day and we believe that enough time has passed for such an event to not traumatise the community and feel more secure attending.

It has always been the intention to hold the NZ Tattoo and it is important for Palmerston North to honour New Zealand’s Defence Forces. Significant consideration was given to the timing of the postponed event to make sure we had their full support.

We now have the full commitment from the Chief of Defence Force to deliver the NZ Tattoo on this new date.

Has Council incurred costs by postponing the 2019 show?

There have been cancellation fees for some air flights to the value of $4,750 and the remainder of costs incurred to date are transferable to the new date.

Were refunds provided for the 2019 show?

Ticketholders were offered a full refund through Ticket Direct.

When do tickets go on sale?

All previous ticket purchasers to the 2019 NZ Tattoo will have an exclusive priority access period to purchase equivalent tickets. A public release date is yet to be confirmed.

Ticket pricing for the new date is expected to remain the same as 2019.