Wellington's visiting whale may cause this weekend's Matariki fireworks display to be cancelled.

Wellington City Council is seeking advice from experts about whether it should still hold Saturday night's fireworks show, given a southern right whale has made the harbour its home this week.

Concerned locals have been discussing the issue on Facebook, and one poll shows 83 per cent of respondents would support postponing or even cancelling the fireworks because of the whale.

"We're not whale experts so we don't know whether the fireworks are going to affect the whale," said council spokesman Richard MacLean.


"That's why we're talking to DoC today, also Niwa."

People on social media were worried the noise from the fireworks would scare the whale, he said.

Ferry passengers got up close and personal with the visiting whale this morning. Photo / Sean Gillespie
Ferry passengers got up close and personal with the visiting whale this morning. Photo / Sean Gillespie

The fireworks display is part of the city's Matariki ki Pōneke celebrations, which have been running since mid June.

A warning will also be released asking people to "stop harassing the whale", MacLean said.

"It's being followed around the harbour by a flotilla of boats."

Kayakers and paddleboarders were also trying to get a glimpse of the whale, but some observers were getting too close.

"The way it's coming out of the water obviously makes it a clear and present danger to anyone."

The rare whale was first spotted in the harbour on Tuesday, and has been delighting locals.


Councillor and wildlife photographer Simon Woolf captured a stunning photo of the whale breaching in front of the Beehive as he tried to take a panorama shot of the city.

"I've never seen anything like that. That whale is having just the greatest time. They wouldn't be doing that sort of breaching if they weren't having fun," he said.

"It stopped Wellington. There are people right around the waterfront still.

"People are saying that they can't believe how happy it's made them to have a whale in the harbour. People are so, so happy. It's in the middle of winter ... to have such a beautiful creature in the harbour, it's given us a real lift."

While Woolf was taking his photos this morning, there were also seals in the harbour and swans flying past.

He said it was like something out of an Alaskan cruise.

"You just don't get that sort of shot every day."