Wellington Scoop

The whale has gone, so the fireworks were on schedule

News from WCC
The sky above Wellington Harbour is to explode with Matariki stars tonight as the Sky Show caps off of a series of Matariki events. Fireworks organisers are promising some new effects for tonight’s show, which was postponed last weekend by the presence of a southern right whale/tohora in the harbour.

Wellington’s acting Mayor Simon Marsh says the whale appears to have departed after charming Wellingtonians for several days – so the Sky Show is going ahead. “The weather’s perfect, we’re whale-free, it’s going to be a great night.”

This is the first time the Sky Show will be held mid-year, and the earlier start time of 6.30pm means more families will be able to enjoy the largest annual council-produced fireworks display in the country.

Councillor Marsh says the Sky Show is the climax to Wellington City Council’s inaugural Matariki ki Pōneke, or Māori New Year, celebrations.

“ReCut, the Matariki Harbour Challenge, Ahi Kā and the dozens of smaller Matariki events have really got Wellington humming over the last month.

“Saturday’s fireworks ends our Matariki events and will launch us into the New Year with a bang. Matariki in Wellington will only get bigger and better in the future.”

Pyrostar International owner Robert McDermott has been the artistic director behind the Wellington Sky Show fireworks since 1995. New effects reflecting the Matariki theme will be revealed,” he says. “There’ll be seven firing patterns to represent the Matariki constellation, and beautiful shell-patterned effects featuring seven point stars.”

Event Producer Delia Shanly reminds people to also tune in to The Breeze (94.1FM and 98.5FM) or More FM (99.7FM and 95.3FM) to hear the simulcast soundtrack as you watch the show. “We’ve created a special Matariki soundtrack this year and this adds a whole extra dimension to the display. To get the best synchronisation of sound and the fireworks it is best to listen to it on terrestrial radio to avoid any streaming delay.”

News from DOC – July 13
DOC has provided the following updated advice to Wellington City Council today about the rescheduled Matariki fireworks display planned for Wellington Harbour this weekend.

“Our latest information is that the southern right whale has been outside the harbour, on the south coast near Lyall Bay for the past three days, moving slowly west.

“While it is possible the whale may return to the harbour over the next 24 to 48 hours, from its recent behaviour this seems unlikely.

“If the whale does return, the advice we supplied to Wellington City Council last week remains the same. We still recommend Council consider the same actions in their planning for the fireworks event this weekend.

“In addition, if the whale does return, and the fireworks go ahead, DOC supports extending exclusion zones in the inner harbour to mitigate the risks to boats and to the whale should vessels get too close.”

News from Wellington City Council – 12 July
Sightings of a southern right whale/tohorā in the Moa Point area yesterday – and no sightings for at least two days of a whale in Wellington Harbour – raise the prospect that Wellington’s first Matariki fireworks display will go ahead this weekend.

The Sky Show display was postponed last weekend after widespread public concerns about the effect the display could have on the whale that had taken up residence in the harbour for several days.

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 fireworks-watching boats on the harbour.

Wellington’s Acting Mayor, Simon Marsh, says if the harbour is whale-free on Saturday 14 July, and the weather is good, then it’ll be showtime. “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.”

Wayne Mulligan, Chair of Taranaki Whanui ki ke Upoko o te Ika, 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. 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”.

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

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1 comment:

  1. Michael Gibson, 13. July 2018, 22:12

    Gosh! We now have a Mayor as well as two Acting Mayors (Jill Day and Simon Marsh). How much are they all getting paid? Who decides who says what?