Wellington's first Matariki fireworks display could go ahead this weekend, but only if the visiting whale stays out of the harbour.

The Sky Show display was postponed last weekend after widespread public concern about the effect the display could have on the southern right whale.

The whale has moved into the Moa Pt area as of yesterday morning.

Wellington City Council said now that the whale had been out of the harbour for two days, it raised the prospect of the fireworks display happening this weekend.


Acting Mayor Simon Marsh said it could only be showtime if the harbour stayed whale-free.

"We'll be keeping our eyes peeled over the next few days.

"The fact a whale was seen outside the harbour entrance raises the possibility that 'our' whale has finally tired of the bright lights and the big city.

"However if it decides to come back for more at the weekend, we'll postpone the Sky Show to a future date.

"Wellingtonians made it plain to us that a whale in the harbour is a thing to be cherished far more than a fireworks display."

Taranaki Whanui ki ke Upoko o te Ika chair Wayne Mulligan said it was the right call.

"The visit by the whale was a fantastic event for Wellington, and this made Matariki even more special.

"In the event the whale is not in the harbour this weekend, then let this fireworks Sky Show be a wonderful conclusion to our region's Matariki for all Wellingtonians – kia tuu tahi tatou".


The cuncil was advised by the Department of Conservation that the fireworks themselves were unlikely to harm the whale, but there were safety risks if the whale was near fireworks-watching boats on the harbour.

Weather and whale permitting, the Sky Show will start at 6.30pm on Saturday and run for 10 minutes.