The Tūpuna Maunga Authority acknowledges Mana Whenua and the local communities of Tāmaki Makaurau for their support of the successful second annual closure of the Tūpuna Maunga to protect the Maunga from fireworks damage.
To avoid the risk of devastating fireworks fires seen in the past, all 14 ancestral mountains were closed overnight during Guy Fawkes week when fireworks were on sale, and the weekend immediately following. The Maunga were patrolled by dedicated security personnel at a significant cost.
The overwhelming public response was one of strong support. Many Aucklanders expressed gratitude for the Authority’s mahi which not only protects the taonga but reduces risk to people and property and avoids strain on Fire and Emergency services.
While there were a handful of incidents from a few who felt entitled to light fireworks wherever and whenever they want, along with some alcohol abuse, the great majority were understanding and in favour of the initiative to close the Maunga during Guy Fawkes.
Chair of the Authority, Paul Majurey, says, "Closing the Tūpuna Maunga is an absolute measure of last resort. We know how important the taonga are to people - and this has been even more evident during this extensive lockdown - they lend a sense of peace during these challenging times. Closing the Maunga comes at a considerable cost, but this has again proved effective in preventing the devastating fire damage caused by fireworks."
Cr Alf Filipaina, Deputy Chair of the Authority, says, "We’d also like to reiterate our applause for The Warehouse, who have ceased selling fireworks because they understand the dangers they pose – and encourage all other retailers to follow suit. We will continue to close the Maunga every Guy Fawkes week until the government legislates to stop the sales of fireworks to the public."
The Tūpuna Maunga Authority is clear that the annual closures will be normal business for so long as the public can buy fireworks.
Visit maunga.nz for more information about the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.