Is it time to ban the public sale of fireworks?

An increasing number of people are moving away from purchasing fireworks for their own backyard Guy Fawkes celebrations, amid growing concern for animal welfare, as well as the risk of injury or the potential to start a fire. Add to that the broken hours of sleep suffered by babies, kids and adults!

Turning public opinion

Every year this discussion comes up. But this year the tide seems to be turning with some supermarkets and dairies refusing to sell fireworks and Auckland Council considering a ban. A poll by revealed that around three quarters of responders would be in favour of a ban on the public sale of fireworks.

Most of Australia did away with the sale of public fireworks over 20 years ago. In the UK, whilst fireworks can be purchased year round, there are restrictions on when they can be used (ie not between the hours of 11pm and 7am, with a few exceptions like New Year’s Eve, Bonfire Night, etc).

In NZ in 2015 a petition signed by 25,000 people was brought before Parliamentary committee but the Government Administration Committee said “a complete ban on the private use of fireworks went too far and was unenforceable.”

What are the firework laws in New Zealand?

In New Zealand fireworks are only available for purchase between 2nd and 5th November. You must be 18 or over to buy them. However, there are no restrictions on when the fireworks can be used (unless this contravenes noise control regulations). There are local restrictions on where fireworks can be used with many councils banning their use in public parks and recreation spaces.

For tips on fireworks safety, visit

Do you like to set off fireworks at home? Do you support a ban? Join the discussion below.

This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.

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  1. SarahBlair 07/11/2018 at 4:45 pm

    I think public fireworks displays rather than private, at home one are much safer and better to watch. Too many animals and children have been hurt and the cost to repair the damage to property is too high to continue the way that we are, something has to change.

  2. Mands1980 06/11/2018 at 8:20 pm

    I obsolutely agree that they need to be banned every year it seems to be getting worse with fires and silly behaviour with them. Then there are the poor animals that stress out every year. Surely they need to listen to all the people if there’s a majority against like this article says then they should just go with that.

  3. Bevik1971 06/11/2018 at 12:44 pm

    I really think that we need to ban the public sale of fireworks – we used to have a public display of fireworks years ago but they stopped doing it (not sure why, cost maybe?). We don’t buy them as I really think they are a waste of money and can be dangerous. We live in the centre of town with our 6 year old and there are quite a few students around, they have been very idiotic and letting off fireworks at all times of the year, but aiming them at other buildings including ours 🙁 I would go to see a public display though 🙂

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