Fireworks decision `responsible’

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By SHELLEY TOPP

A Waimakariri District councillor is heartened by The Warehouse’s decision to stop selling fireworks.

“It is the right move,” Paul Williams says.

He now wants to see fireworks restricted to public displays because of their potential of  to cause fires to homes and properties, and cause distress, pain and even death to animals.

In 2018 Waimakariri District Council staff were asked to investigate whether it was possible to ban, or at least limit, the sale of fireworks in Waimakariri and only have public fireworks displays, after Cr Williams raised the issue.

“I am pleased that The Warehouse is acting in a responsible way by now not selling this product,” he said.

“Other retailers now need to follow this action.”

“I found that the council could not implement a bylaw,” he says.

Cr Williams says while most families act responsibly with their fireworks, others don’t.

“I had ratepayers relaying stories of sky rockets being let off from moving cars aimed at houses.

“My father was a volunteer fireman and I also saw the strain this put on our already very busy fire service.”

Cr Williams says he has support from the SPCA and other groups to stop the sale of fireworks to the public.

“However I support public displays that are displayed in a safe way in which people can get the information required to keep their pets safe and the fire service can have a say on the conditions.”

The Warehouse chief product officer Tania Benyon said when making the announcement about the decision to end the sale of fireworks, that it came after feedback from customers.

“While many are supportive of public fireworks displays to mark special events across the year, Guy Fawkes has become less of an occasion, and there are clear concerns about people letting off fireworks at home.

“In line with that response we no longer feel fireworks have a place on our shelves.”