Wellington to cancel annual Guy Fawkes, move fireworks display to Matariki

  • 30/09/2017
Wellington to cancel annual Guy Fawkes, move fireworks display to Matariki
Photo credit: Facebook / Wellington City Council

Wellington's annual Guy Fawkes display will be cancelled from 2018.

The council will still hold a fireworks display, but not until Matariki - the Māori New Year - around June or July.

Mayor Justin Lester says moving the Wellington Sky Show to Matariki, in winter, is a tactical move.

"The winter months in New Zealand tend to be quiet and that presents an opportunity to celebrate an event that is relevant to New Zealand. We want Wellington to lead the country in making this a major civic event."

Mr Lester says it's also in an effort to make the Māori celebration a cornerstone event for the city, and a chance to recognise culture.

Matariki is a month-long period which represents the beginning of a new year for Māori, and is a time for remembering the dead and celebrating new life.

Guy Fawkes, when the Wellington Sky Show was previously held, marks the anniversary of the discovery of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London 400 years ago.

The Sky Show, which is usually held in November, is the largest fireworks display in New Zealand.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day is confident that despite being held in a colder month, turnout will still be high - if not higher.

"Despite the winter, families turned up to the waterfront to see the display. The feedback we received was that the earlier time was much more family friendly. As a mother of three young children, that shows me this is a much better time for this event and will help make the Sky Show even better and more popular."