Guy Fawkes weekend sparks debate over whether Government should ban sale of fireworks

The debate of whether the Government should ban the sale of fireworks has sparked up again this year.

Saturday is Guy Fawkes day, which means Wednesday is the day when the official fireworks sale period begins.

The sale of fireworks sparks a debate every year with some parts of the country having them banned completely already.

From Wednesday, fireworks can be sold for a period of four days.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) spokesperson Adrian Nacey said some parts of the country do not sell fireworks because of fire bans in place.

"There are currently two fire bans in place - a temporary one in Northland and a permanent ban in Otago," Nacey said.

Karikari Peninsula, Mount Iron and Albert Town Recreation reserve are among the prohibited zones - due to a high fire risk.

The private sale and use of fireworks has still sparked debate.

When Newshub asked members of the public whether they should be banned, they had mixed reactions.

One person said they should "probably [be] banned, they're dangerous".

Another said: "As a kid we always had fireworks. It's actually great fun. I'm a dog owner as well and I know that's tough."

A third person said: "I would like to see some regulation around it."

The Warehouse, Kmart, Foodstuffs and Woolworths have all confirmed their stores won't sell fireworks in 2023.

By law, fireworks can only be sold from November 2 until November 5 to adults over 18. They can be let off at any time on private property with the consent of the property owner.

Some argue that shouldn't be the case.

"I don't think we should ban it completely, but I think you should control it, so if it's the 5th of November that's the day we fire it, we fire it on the 5th of November no other day," Pyro-Star International director Robert McDermott told AM.

The SPCA wanted restrictions to go even further.

"The SPCA does support public displays, such as Rob was talking about, because those are controlled as he said, they're notified, people know they're coming. What we are concerned about is the private sale and use of fireworks because of multiple issues," Dr Alison Vaughan, SPCA scientific officer said.

According to ACC, fireworks-related injuries cost New Zealanders over $500,000 in 2022.

Of the 244 new claims, 133 were lodged in November.

The most common fireworks-related injuries were people being burnt, which accounted for 142 of the claims.

The National Party said it won't ban fireworks completely but leader Christopher Luxon told AM backyard displays were "lame".

"I can buy a handful of fireworks in my backyard and it's pretty lame, or I can go to the local school and enjoy a pretty good show."

Fire and Emergency have warned people to be extra careful if they do want to set them off in their own backyards because of the "high winds forecast across the motu", Nacey said.

To ensure Kiwis can safely celebrate Guy Fawkes weekend.