MPs hear more on fireworks sale ban

Last updated 12:18 05/11/2014

Should the sale of fireworks be banned?

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The Government says it will take a closer look at a proposed ban on firework sales.

An administration select committee meeting this morning agreed to hear more evidence on the debate, which has been sparked by a 29,000 signature petition calling for an end to the private use of fireworks.

Chair Ruth Dyson said the committee was keen to pursue the issue.

Organisers behind the petition and advisers from the Ministry of Environment would be invited to speak at the next meeting on November 26, she said.

The petition has the backing of the New Zealand police, Fire Service and SPCA and has attracted more than 3000 new signatures in the past four days.

A Stuff opinion poll this week indicated two thirds of respondents wanted private use of fireworks banned.

Dyson would not be drawn on whether she supported a ban, saying she would wait to hear what the committee decide.

She said today's meeting was "the very start of a long process" and the committee may or may not make any recommendations to Parliament.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday he anticipated firework sales would "eventually" be outlawed.

"While I'm not proposing or saying that there should be a personal ban today... I think eventually you actually will see public displays being the ones where fireworks are available."


Meanwhile the Fire Service has been busy responding to a series of firework-related mishaps, and is expecting a potentially busy Guy Fawkes night.

In one incident in the Auckland suburb of Balmoral this morning a man was caught selling fireworks from his car, with a smoke machine operating inside the car.

Fire Service shift manager Scott Osmond said concerned members of the public reported what they thought was a car fire just before 9am.

He said the set-up was a major hazard and firefighters had to tell him to turn the smoke machine off.

"That was one rather silly incident... Most of it is just people not thinking or using [fireworks] incorrectly."

A house fire in Manurewa, in South Auckland, yesterday was sparked by fireworks used in a bedroom.

It followed a fire in Otara that was caused by a teenager shooting fireworks at a garage.

Osmond said the Manurewa bedroom was severely damaged while the garage in Otara was destroyed.

He said the rate of calls this year was not noticeably higher than previous Guy Fawkes Periods, but remained a problem.

Wet weather forecast for most of the country tonight could provide a reprieve for firefighters and a dampener for firework fans.

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