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Tighter controls loom for public sale of fireworks

7 September 2006

Tighter controls loom for public sale of fireworks

Auckland City's Economic Development and Sustainable Business Committee has agreed to support work being carried out by central government to address public concerns about the sale and use of fireworks.

Led by the Ministry for the Environment with the Environmental Risk Management Authority and Auckland police and fire services, a paper recommending a range of fireworks regulations and measures will be presented to the Cabinet calling for tighter controls.

Councillor Richard Northey, committee chairperson says the council supports this central government work programme and will notify the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Auckland Issues accordingly.

"Harmful incidents from fireworks are escalating annually. The central government's work programme is all about reducing these occurrences and protecting public safety.

"We believe that appropriate changes to fireworks regulations should reduce the amount of damage to people, property and pets stemming from the deliberate misuse of fireworks that occurs every Guy Fawkes season," Mr Northey said. In response to calls of concern from community boards, police, the fire service, SPCA and other groups over the irresponsible use of fireworks, the council has agreed to another temporary ban in public space along Tamaki Drive for Guy Fawkes from 3 - 5 November 2006.

The ban covers all beaches and parks along Tamaki Drive - Watene Reserve, Okahu Bay, Orakei Domain, Whenua Rangatira (Bastion Point), Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Selwyn Domain, Kohimarama Beach, Vellenoweth Green, St Heliers Bay Beach, Ladies Bay and Achilles Point.

"We don't want to stop people having fun and celebrating Guy Fawkes but we do have a responsibility to minimise the rise of injuries and the impact on animals," says Mr Northey.

The ban does not apply to fireworks on private property.

ENDS

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