Guy Fawkes is tonight- should private fireworks be banned?

Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 November 2019, 1:22PM

Talk is brewing over backyard fireworks, with anti-fireworks groups headed to Parliament next week to lobby for a ban on private sales.

A select committee is hearing submissions on the issue after three separate petitions to ban fireworks sales garnered thousands of signatures.

But fireworks importers will also be speaking to the select committee, and they think the silent majority of the public is on their side.

The Government says it currently has no plans to change the law around fireworks.

The Guy Fawkes mayhem started in earnest on the weekend, with reports of people shooting fireworks out of cars and aiming them at buildings and vegetation.

Fire and Emergency's national adviser on fire risk management Peter Gallagher said firefighters attended 41 fireworks-related incidents across the country over the weekend, up from 38 incidents at the same time last year.

"We are disappointed that in a small number of incidents reported, people shot fireworks from cars or aimed them towards vegetation and buildings," he said.

Fire and Emergency NZ warned that with Guy Fawkes falling mid-week it expected three periods of heavy use: November 2, November 5 and November 8-9.

High winds and high temperatures have added to the fire risk, with a complete fire and fireworks ban for the past three days in Central Otago and Southland.

The ban will be lifted tomorrow morning but people still need to take care, Fire and Emergency NZ says.

Auckland Council says no public events are planned for Guy Fawkes night, although public displays are planned at The Trusts Arena in Henderson and at the Waikaraka Park speedway on Saturday night.

Animal lovers, in particular, will be bracing for tomorrow night's festivities, with Auckland Zoo asking people in surrounding suburbs not to let fireworks off randomly to avoid terrifying the animals.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.