With the fireworks season about to start and the new government’s Cabinet about to be announced, there is a new demand on Parliament to end the private sale and use of fireworks in New Zealand.
Auckland Councillors Cathy Casey and Fa’anana Efeso Collins have joined with a range of national organisations and advocates to prepare a briefing for the incoming Minister for the Environment.
A meeting with the Minister will be sought by a delegation as soon as the appointment has been announced.
Councillor Cathy Casey says: “We just can’t continue to ignore the harm that fireworks cause to people, animals and the environment.
“The new Government must take urgent action to ban their private sale and use. Until they do, every bang from a firework could be the trigger that causes a child to be injured, a horse to bolt, a dog to be terrorized, a nesting bird to abandon its eggs, or the start of a fire in one of our precious maunga. New Zealand has had enough.”
Councillor Fa’anana Efeso Collins says: “Fireworks displays should be public and celebrate what New Zealand finds important. Councils have a role in holding public firework displays so that our community can still enjoy the spectacle while keeping every person and animal safe.”
The summary of the briefing paper says: “Fireworks are the cause of a range of harms to the community and environment.
“These harms include negative effects on animals, from companion and farmed animals through to wildlife. Noise nuisance from fireworks is harmful to various vulnerable groups in society. In addition, accident and misuse of fireworks is responsible for injuries to people, damage to property and destruction of the natural environment.
“The current regulations are ineffective in preventing these harms from occurring. Reports of careless or reckless use of fireworks and their tragic effects appear on front pages of local and national newspapers every year. Public firework displays are an appropriate and safer alternative to private use. An end to the private sale and use of fireworks has support from key organisations and the general public.”
The attached briefing has been endorsed by:
- New Zealand Veterinary Association
- Local Government New Zealand
- Auckland Council
- Tūpuna Maunga Authority
- Auckland Zoo
- Dr Chris Eichbaum
- Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons – Wellington City Council, Paekawakawa/Southern Ward