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Tūpuna Maunga Authority Sick Of Watching Auckland Burn; Ban Fireworks Sales

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority is calling for a total ban on the private sale of fireworks following the latest fire at Maungarei / Mt Wellington on Tuesday 7 April.

Fire and Emergency crew in attendance advised Authority management they received reports of fireworks being discharged and a group of around eight people behaving suspiciously on the Maunga before the fire started around 7:30pm.

The blaze covered an area of 60m by 40m on the southern ridge of the tihi (summit) and had reached a steep cliff face of regenerating native bush just before it was fully extinguished around 9:45pm.

This is the second fire on Maungarei / Mt Wellington caused by fireworks within six months.

On Guy Fawkes night 2019, fireworks were the cause of massive fires at Maungarei / Mt Wellington and Maungawhau / Mt Eden, and a smaller fire on Takarunga / Mt Victoria.

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority’s immediate response to protect the iconic ancestral Maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau was to ban access to all Maunga at Guy Fawkes while fireworks are still available for public sale.

Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority says the continuous threat of fireworks to the Maunga, neighbouring residents and first responders now demands much stronger action.

“On the back of the disastrous 2019 fires and in the middle of the national lockdown to combat a world-wide pandemic, there are still people incapable of self-restraint and who insist on putting themselves ahead of all else that matters.

“It beggars belief that there are people who would intentionally risk a fire beside a bush area in very dry conditions 

and on a mountainside with limited access “At Maungarei last night, the results could have been catastrophic for the Maunga and neighbouring houses if not for the brave efforts of fire crews.

“Only a national ban on the sale of fireworks will prevent them being in the hands of people who continue to put the public and our ancestral heritage at risk. The overwhelming basis supporting a ban on the private sale of fireworks is well recognised. Successive governments have considered a ban but deferred making that decision conscious of public reaction along the lines of ‘fun police’ and ‘nanny state’.

“This is the last straw for the Tūpuna Maunga Authority. The national attention is rightly focussed on combatting the Covid-19 emergency. However, as soon as life returns to some sense of normalcy, the Authority will be seeking urgent legislation banning the private sale of fireworks in time for Guy Fawkes 2020”, says Majurey.

Fire and Emergency have unrestricted access to the Maunga via an access code to entrance gates.

Visit www.maunga.nz for more information about the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.

© Scoop Media

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