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Wellington’s first Matariki fireworks display are planned to go ahead this weekend if there continues to be no sighting of the whale that had taken up residence in the harbour for several days.
The display was postponed last weekend due to widespread public concerns on the impact it would have on the whale.
There have been no sightings for at least two days of the whale in Wellington Harbour.
Wellington’s Acting Mayor Simon Marsh says the event will go ahead if the harbour is whale-free this Saturday with good weather conditions.
“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,” he says.
The Department of Conservation advised the fireworks themselves were unlikely to harm the whale but there were safety risks if the whale was in the proximity of spectators on boats on the harbour.
Chair of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika Wayne Mulligan endorses the Council’s stance on the whale and the fireworks.
“The visit by the whale was a fantastic event for Wellington, and this made Matariki even more special.”
The Sky Show will start at 6.30pm on Saturday and run for 10 minutes if conditions allow.