DIY fireworks still a sellout with the public

Public display 'not a priority' for ratepayers

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 05/11/2012
tdn firework stand
ANDY JACKSON
FIRE 'EM UP: Nicole Thompson, 19, checks out the fireworks on sale at the Pyro Company in New Plymouth.

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New Plymouth residents may not be missing a public fireworks display on Guy Fawkes night, but they are still happy to pay for a bit of boom and glitter.

New Plymouth District Council canned the previously popular show at the Bowl of Brooklands last year after failing to find funding or community sponsorship to cover the event.

Mr Duynhoven said he had only received one phone call regarding the lack of a fireworks display in New Plymouth this year.

"I'm not a fun-nazi or anything, it would seem to me if the community wants it we would have had a lot of talk about it.

"I don't think even in the long-term planning process I don't think we had a single submission on it."

He said it was not a priority for ratepayers, and had been surprised at the lack of protest when the show was scrapped last year.

"Certainly people in the past were telling me its another waste of money, it literally goes up in smoke."

Voters on a poll conducted on the Daily News website last October about the issue were split with 51.5 per cent of 717 voters saying the council should pay for the popular family event, and 48.5 per cent saying they should not.

In 2010 more than 20 Taranaki businesses stumped up $12,200 to save the event after the withdrawal of major sponsor TSB Bank.

Pyro Company vendor Justin King, who sells fireworks in Courtenay St, said plenty of New Plymouth residents are still willing to part with a significant amount of money for a few moments of sparkle.

"Every year we sell out. We get everyone coming in, from really old people who remember the old fireworks to young families."

It was a mid-range $75, pack that had flown off the shelves the fastest this year. He said he was so confident in the popularity of Guy Fawkes that a public display would be no threat to his business and it was a pity there was not going to be one.

He said customers frequently asked him about the details of public displays.

"People who come through from other places can't believe there isn't one, and people from here don't want to have to go to Stratford or Hawera. They're really disappointed."

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