Aucklanders urged to steer clear of maunga this Guy Fawkes

7:00 pm on 9 October 2022
A boardwalk is planned for the crater rim of the Maungawhau summit.

A view of Auckland from the summit of Maungawhau / Mt Eden. Photo: 123rf

Aucklanders are being asked to keep away from a list of maunga this Guy Fawkes to prevent devastating fires caused by fireworks.

Fireworks were the cause of an enormous blaze on both Maungarei / Mt Wellington and Maungawhau / Mt Eden on Guy Fawkes night in 2019.

For the last two years a list of maunga sites across Tamaki Mākaurau have been closed which has helped to prevent more serious damage and have so far been successful.

Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority Paul Majurey said the closures were a last resort to stop devastating annual fires on maunga.

"The Authority was very pleased there were no fires on the maunga over Guy Fawkes 2020 and 2021, and by the support provided by local communities in protecting these iconic landscapes and public health and safety."

"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," said Majurey.

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority was also renewing its calls for the government to end sales of fireworks to the public.

Firefighters tackle blaze on Maungarei / Mt Wellington on Guy Fawkes night.

Firefighters tackle blaze on Maungarei / Mt Wellington on Guy Fawkes night in 2019. File photo. Photo: Supplied / Lucas Stone

Councillor Alf Filipaina, Deputy Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority said the maunga were important taonga that needed to be looked after.

"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".

Paul Majurey said closing the Maunga was not something they preferred but would do it to help prevent further damage from fires.

"There have been calls by us, 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 display," said Majurey.

Closure dates and times

All the Tūpuna Maunga will be closed from Wednesday 2 November to Sunday 6 November 2022, 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.

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