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Dunne: firework ban a step too far

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 8 November 2006
Dunne: firework ban a step too far

United Future leader Peter Dunne says a total ban on fireworks sales to the public would be a step too far.

He was commenting in the light of calls for such a ban in the wake of this year's Guy Fawkes events.

"An outright ban will not work.

"It will simply encourage people to make their own fireworks – which would be far more dangerous to public safety.

"The formulas are available on the internet and every school chemistry laboratory is a source of the raw materials.

"Only the naïve, or the killjoys in our community could seriously imagine that such a ban would work," he says.

Mr Dunne also asks what sanctions there would be against those who either made their own fireworks, stored them up, or even imported them directly.

"Where will it end? Fireworks police doing snap raids on people's homes to check they are not illicitly holding fireworks?"

Mr Dunne says it is time some balance was introduced into the debate.

"Most New Zealand homes let off fireworks at Guy Fawkes.

"While not condoning individual irresponsible behaviour or damage to property, it is worth remembering that the vast majority of Kiwi families enjoy their backyard fireworks fun without any danger or risk.

"Why penalise them for the irresponsibility of a few?" he asks.

Mr Dunne says he would support an age restriction on the sale of fireworks, and limiting the period of sale to the week before Guy Fawkes.

ENDS

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