Auckland Zoo is pleading with the New Zealand Government to "move quickly" and ban the sale of fireworks to individuals.
With Guy Fawkes fast approaching, the zoo has put out the call to ban fireworks, explaining why they put animals at serious risk.
"We're heading into summer with longer, lighter evenings with many of our rare endemic bird species at the height of their breeding season. The loud unpredictable explosions in all sorts of random places, at all times of the day and night can happen for weeks following Guy Fawkes due to people stockpiling fireworks," Auckland Zoo director Kevin Buley explained.
"These can potentially cause wild birds to abandon nests and are often terrifying for domestic, farm and our zoo animals."
The Auckland Zoo has a number of threatened endemic species currently breeding on site, including the whio (blue duck), the pāteke (brown teal) and kākāriki karaka (orange-fronted parakeet).
"I might receive the odd accusation of being a fun sucker – wanting to take people's fireworks and traditional pyrotechnic freedoms away from them, but I do like to think that nobody actually wants to see any animal so massively stressed and frightened, that they injure themselves, abandon their babies, or worse," Buley added.
The director, who moved to New Zealand from the UK, says he doesn't understand why Guy Fawkes is still celebrated here.
"As someone originally from the UK, who has now lived in New Zealand for the last decade, I still find it absolutely bizarre that we celebrate this colonial throwback of the foiling of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot in London."
The zoo wants the Government to ban all sales of fireworks to the public and is also pleading with its neighbours not to let off any fireworks this year.
The zoo believes professionally organised public fireworks displays are a good compromise that everyone should get on board with, as they would give places like the zoo time to put measures in place to ensure the welfare of the animals.
"We believe it's absolutely the right thing for Government to go ahead and implement this ban and we would really like to see this happen quickly. It will not only protect domestic animals and wildlife throughout Aotearoa, but keep people safe, protect our environment, and eliminate fires caused by fireworks and their associated impacts and costs to taxpayers," Buley said.
"Looking to the future, Auckland Zoo would also really love to see New Zealand adopt the use of silent or drone fireworks for all public displays throughout the country. Silent or drone fireworks can be equally or even more stunning, but don't create the explosive noises that traditional fireworks do and are already being used with great success overseas in countries like Italy, China and the United Kingdom."
Auckland volcanic cones closed at night over Guy Fawkes week to prevent fires
Fourteen maunga, or volcanic cones, in Auckland will be closed during Guy Fawkes week to avoid blazes caused by fireworks.
The Tūpuna Maunga Authority is closing the maunga to the public after fireworks caused an enormous blaze which ripped through the crater of Te Pane o Mataaho/Māngere Mountain in December last year, and a fire on Maungarei/Mt Wellington in April this year.
Just last month yet another fire tore up the lower slopes of Maungarei/Mt Wellington, caused by a group of youths playing with fireworks.
The maunga will be closed at night from November 2 until November 8.
Security staff and volunteers will patrol the maunga and explain the closures to visitors from 7.30pm to the usual gate opening times. Any visitors on the maunga when the gates are closed will be asked to leave.
Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill
Ōwairaka/Te Ahi-kā-a-Rakataura/Mt Albert
Te Kōpuke/Tītīkōpuke/Mt St John
Te Pane o Mataaho/Māngere Mountain
Te Tātua a Riukiuta/Big King