Judith Collins: Don't ban fireworks, just keep your pets inside

Opinion 01/03/2019

Judith Collins says pet owners who want fireworks banned need to "take responsibility" rather than ruin Guy Fawkes for everyone else.

Auckland Council on Thursday said it was going to ask the Government to ban private sale and use of fireworks, after nearly 90 percent of submissions in a year-long consultation were against them.

"We'll go have a look at it," Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi told The AM Show on Friday.

"There's been plenty of debate, but since the time that we were young there's been a lot more restrictions on who can buy, where you can buy and when you can buy fireworks. I think you can only buy them four days a year now, and only if you're over 18.

"That's a lot different to our day when you were able to buy a packet of Pohas down at the dairy, and anyone could do it."

Pohas, also known as double-happies, were particularly explosive firecrackers that were banned in the 1990s. 

Ms Collins, MP for Papakura, says the council needs to "stop being so nannyish"

"I just think fireworks are irritating at times, but many of us learnt about dangers when we were having our very first sparkler that we were holding as a kid, and in those days there was a lot more big-bang fireworks and stuff. So you know, this council, what are we going to end up with?

"I have a dog and a cat, and they do not like fireworks either - so I keep them inside. I take responsibility for my animals."

A bid to have backyard fireworks banned in 2015 failed when a Government administration committee said it would be unenforceable, NZME reported at the time. Since then, the Government has changed.

The last major changes to fireworks rules came in 2007 under the previous Labour-led Government - the legal age of purchase was raised from 14 to 18, and the days they could be sold were reduced to four - November 2 to 5.