Sparks fly over fireworks sales
The debate on fireworks is heating up with three out of four people calling for a ban on public sales.
A survey on Neighbourly.co.nz revealed 75 per cent of West Aucklanders were against the sale of fireworks and people should go to public displays instead.
The results come as the SPCA and the Waita¯ kere Ranges Local Board considered making another push for tougher fireworks laws under the new Government.
Massey resident Jessica Beall said fireworks sales should be banned as no-one respected their neighbours and pets could be harmed.
‘‘The terror our pets go through for months after fireworks have gone on sale is hideous,’’ Beall said.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said it was ‘‘absolutely’’ against the private sale of fireworks.
The animal welfare organisation had been calling for a ban for years and sent a petition to the previous government to ban private sales.
The SPCA wanted to try again with the new Government to see if its attitude would be different, Midgen said. Fireworks could cause physical and psychological harm to animals, she said.
The Waita¯kere Ranges Local Board wrote to Helensville MP John Key in 2016 about the fire risk posed by fireworks in the ranges.
Board member Sandra Coney said Key ‘‘did not engage’’.
Coney said she hoped his successor National MP Chris Penk would be more receptive.
‘‘There’s real issues about how they are being marketed and sold at the moment,’’ she said.
People bought fireworks and stored them for social occasions all through the dry months of summer.
Coney said the board was open to different solutions because they knew people enjoyed fireworks.
Fireworks could be banned from just the Waita¯ kere Ranges Heritage Area, or only permitted on Guy Fawkes night, she said.
‘‘I don’t know if the board would go as far as [to advocate for] only public displays.’’
Coney said a council bylaw has banned the setting off of fireworks in public places.
What wasn’t so well-known was the bylaw also banned people setting them off on private land – if they could enter a public place and do harm.