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Proposed fireworks ban on Tamaki Drive

4 August 2005

Proposed fireworks ban on Tamaki Drive

Auckland City has supported proposals from the Eastern Bays Community Board and the Police to ban people letting off fireworks along Tamaki Drive.

The proposed ban, designed to protect the public, will cover the following areas of open space along Tamaki Drive – Watene Reserve, MJS Memorial, Orakei Domain, Selwyn Domain, Kohimarama Beach, Vellenoweth Green, St Helier’s Bay Beach, Ladies Bay and Achilles Point.

Auckland City will also be approaching the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Reserves Board for its consent to extend the ban to the Whenua Rangatira and Okahu Bay.

Councillor Penny Sefuiva, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, says: "We don't want to stop people having fun and celebrating Guy Fawkes but we need to take into account the problems that have occurred in recent years. Selwyn Domain is now attracting close to 15,000 people and the Police have expressed serious concerns at the size of the event and the potential for serious injury or death due to overcrowding, anti-social behaviour and irresponsible use of fireworks. Traffic congestion also adds to their concerns."

On Guy Fawkes night 2004, approximately 15,000 people gathered at Selwyn Domain in Mission Bay to let off fireworks. Over the course of the evening the police made sixteen arrests for disorder and breach of the liquor ban. Five people were reported to the youth aid section for various offences and two people were stopped from entering the reserve with home made bombs (plastic bottles filled with gunpowder and metal pellets). Three children were lost and located, 12 lost property reports filed and one major fire incident reported. Numerous small fires were extinguished and St John’s Ambulance treated a number of people for minor burns.

Auckland City has the ability to control letting off of fireworks through the public places by-law. Part 20 – Public Places 20.3.1(p) states that the public can let off fireworks on public open space at any time unless the council prohibits it.

The Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee will recommend to the Planning and Regulatory Committee that the ban be put in place under the provisions of Auckland City bylaw 20.3.1.

If approved, the council will start comprehensive communications with affected communities and the wider Auckland public.

ENDS

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