Fireworks 'a pain in the butt' - Jacinda Ardern

  • 06/11/2017

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is not directly considering a fireworks ban, but we should keep an eye on them.

"As a kid I loved it; as an adult, it's a pain in the butt," she told the AM Show on Monday

"If I was a kid looking at me now, I'd think 'what an old fuddy-duddy - you're ruining all the fun'. But as I lay in bed last night listening to the 'pop pop pop' around me, thinking about all the animals, the fire service.

"I've noticed a lot of fireworks pop-up sales happening around Auckland - just people pulled up on the side of the road with a big rented van, just selling stockpiles of fireworks out the back of the truck.

"I want to have a look at what kind of callout rate we've been having, how many kids ended up in hospital. Yes, I think public displays are fantastic - but I do think we need to keep a watchful eye on whether or not it's costing us too much."

The Prime Minister didn't let any fireworks off herself, and said her cat, Paddles, wasn't worried.

"Nothing moves her."

Fire and Emergency New Zealand responded to 125 fireworks-related call-outs in November so far - already more than the whole amount for the same month last year.

National advisor for fire risk management Peter Gallagher told The AM Show there were 58 call-outs during Guy Fawkes on Sunday night - a number slightly higher than expected.

"Given the weather was fine mostly around the country, that's not a bad result."

Mr Gallagher says call-outs during the sales period have declined since 2012, but the shorter sales period has condensed call-outs.

"The biggest problem for us is we get multiple call-outs at the same time, which stretches our resources.

"With that three-day sales period it's a very busy time, and then it quietens off."

Mr Gallagher says it would be up to the government as to whether personal fireworks should be banned.

"For us, we're a response service and we just do what we need to, to keep people safe.

"We're interested to evaluate whether there are people are stockpiling fireworks for New Years celebrations, we'll be keeping a watching brief during the summer months to see if they pop up again."