The Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau have provided safe haven for us all during the 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns (as they did last year), and now it’s our turn to protect these precious taonga.
The Maunga will be closed to the public in the evenings during Guy Fawkes 2021.
There will be advisory signage, and security staff will patrol the Maunga and explain the closures to the public. The Authority will also enact any COVID-19 alert level requirements set by the government.
Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, says the success of the 2020 closures was a measure of last resort, but necessary to stop the previous devastating annual fires on the Maunga caused by fireworks. "The Authority was very pleased there were no fires on the Maunga in 2020, and by the support provided by local communities in protecting these iconic landscapes and public health and safety."
The Maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau were important pā settlements. They are wāhi tapu (sacred sites) and for Mana Whenua are taonga tuku iho (treasures handed down the generations).
Cr Alf Filipaina, Deputy Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority says, "Ngā Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau are among the most important cultural and natural heritage sites anywhere in New Zealand. They are on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Status and it’s critical that we safeguard them from harm."
Guy Fawkes closures on the Maunga were enacted for the first time last year over the 2020 period and successfully prevented fires on all the Maunga. This contrasts with the massive fires at Maungarei / Mt Wellington and Maungawhau / Mt Eden on Guy Fawkes night 2019, an enormous blaze caused by fireworks at Te Pane o Mataaho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain in December 2019, a fireworks fire on Maungarei / Mt Wellington in April 2020 and yet another at Maungarei / Mt Wellington in September 2020.
Closure dates and times
All the Tūpuna Maunga will be closed between 2 (Tuesday) to 7 (Sunday) November 2021, from 7.30pm through to usual gate opening times the following day:
- Matukutūruru / Wiri Mountain
- Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill
- Maungarei / Mount Wellington
- Maungawhau / Mount Eden
- Maungauika / North Head
- Ōwairaka / Te Ahi-kā-a-Rakataura / Mount Albert
- Ōhinerau / Mount Hobson
- Ōhuiarangi / Pigeon Mountain
- Ōtāhuhu / Mount Richmond
- Pukewīwī / Puketāpapa / Mount Roskill
- Te Kōpuke / Tītīkōpuke / Mount St John
- Takarunga / Mount Victoria
- Te Pane o Mataaho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain
- Te Tātua a Riukiuta / Big King.
Call for government action
The Tūpuna Maunga Authority continues its call for the government to end the sales of fireworks to the public.
Paul Majurey says, "Closing the Maunga is not something we prefer. We want those beloved connections between the people of Tāmaki Makaurau and wider afield to always be available to the Tūpuna Maunga. But as long as fireworks are publicly available, we are left with no choice but to restrict access to avoid more massive fires and the enormous damage they cause.
"There have been calls by ourselves, Auckland Council, the SPCA and many other groups around the country for many years to restrict public sales of fireworks. In the hands of a few who lack self-control with reckless behaviours, fireworks have been the cause of immense damage and expense.
"It remains vital that the government puts measures in place that take fireworks out of the hands of those who aren’t capable of using them sensibly, while still allowing the public to enjoy controlled public fireworks displays."
Visit maunga.nz for more information about the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.