Nearly 18,000 people sign private fireworks ban petition

Backyard Guy Fawkes parties could become a thing of the past if a proposed ban passes into law.

Nearly 18,000 people have signed a petition seeking to ban the retail sale of fireworks in New Zealand.

It was presented to Parliament on Tuesday and accepted by Gareth Hughes, the Green Party's spokesperson for animal welfare.

In a statement Mr Hughes called private sales of fireworks "dangerous" and commended the 17,942 petition signatories.

"They signed because they know fireworks cause hundreds of accidents each year, start fires and cause distress and sometimes injuries to animals," he said.

"It's no surprise, with the many stories of injury and trauma I hear, that New Zealanders are calling time for private sales of fireworks to fizzle out."

He urged the Government to pass legislation prohibiting their retail sale. The petition also calls for the House of Representatives to institute licensing arrangements for public fireworks displays, which would have to be approved by local authorities.

The NZ Veterinary Association has repeatedly called for a ban on the private use of fireworks, citing the trauma and injuries they often cause animals. 

Under current law, anyone 18 years or older can buy fireworks, although they are only sold in shops from November 2 to November 5.

Last Guy Fawkes, fire crews responded to at least 26 fires believed to have been started by fireworks.

Auckland Council has asked locals to consider a ban on their public sale, but said they won't take action without a clear mandate from Aucklanders.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: