Fireworks show biggest in NZ

16:00, Dec 12 2012
FIRED UP: A full-on fireworks, lasers and lights show will light up the night at The Trusts Stadium in Central Park Dr, Henderson, on December 22.

The best on ground pyrotechnics and light display and probably the biggest in New Zealand.

That's David York's opinion of the spectacular Waitakere Lions Cracker Christmas lasers, lights and fireworks show at The Trusts Stadium on December 22, 5pm.

And he should know. Mr York of Taupaki has been involved in fireworks since he can remember. His firm Bad Boy Fireworks, part of the West Auckland-based York Corporation, has partnerships with 12 Chinese fireworks factories and is associated with fireworks events in many parts of the world. A partner company, Hong Kong based Vulcan, won the world fireworks championships in 2009 and was runner-up in Oman in 2010.

Hard to believe it all started in a Ponsonby garage. That's where Mr York's mum and dad started producing fireworks after arriving from Britain.

Dad Gerald was told to move production to the country, so he set up in McLeod Rd in Te Atatu South in 1954 where the business headquarters is still based today, although it includes printing and packaging too.

Mr York, 59, took over from his dad, and a joint venture established with China in 1990 saw the firm moving to imports rather than manufacturing fireworks here.


Bad Boy handles several hundred tonnes annually, supplying hundreds of retail outlets and more than 30 display operators around New Zealand and the Chinese operations export to most countries, particularly the United States and Europe. Set up and design is done for a huge number of events internationally.

Big displays are now often choreographed to music, like the nearly 30-minute Waitakere Lions event, which Mr York says has the potential to become world class.

He says Malta is the most fireworks-mad country, having a fireworks related event nearly every night.

New Zealand has probably the most retail fireworks per head in the world though. While other countries have mainly organised displays, Kiwis still love firing off backyard events, but Mr York says these are small and no longer have skyrockets or crackers like jumping jacks.

He can see public organised events like the Waitakere Lions' one increasing in popularity here because they are increasingly sophisticated and spectacular while providing value for money.

He helps with Taupaki School's display at the Kumeu Showgrounds every November.

"It would be the largest school display in New Zealand and is a very successful fundraiser for them."

Meanwhile, Mr York's business is set to remain firmly in family hands.

Son James is looking after the New Zealand fireworks side.

So if you catch a big New Year fireworks event, chances are the York family has had a hand in it.

The Waitakere Lions Cracker Christmas fireworks show is supported by the Trusts Community Foundation, the Auckland Council, Suburban Newspapers Auckland, The Trusts Stadium, Van Tiel Pyrotechnics, Light and Pyro and the York Corporation (Bad Boy Fireworks).


Win a free family pass for two adults and four children under 12 valued at $48 to the Waitakere Lions Cracker Christmas lasers, lights and fireworks show on December 22. It's at The Trusts Stadium in Central Park Dr, Henderson, from 5pm, culminating in a nearly 30 minute massive display, hailed as one of the largest ground displays in New Zealand. Santa will drop in by Westpac rescue helicopter, there's a huge Stonehenge style lights and pyrotechnics centrepiece, 30 carollers, a computerised dancing bear, six metre Christmas tree, clowns, a motorcycle stunt display, lollies, food stalls and more. To win a pass send your entry to Waitakere Lions Cracker Christmas, Rodney Times, PO Box 79, Orewa, or email with your contact details as soon as possible. Go to for information.

Rodney Times