Fireworks displays to be few and far between

Lights out . . . Fewer stores will be selling fireworks this year. PHOTO: CLUTHA LEADER FILES

It is Guy Fawkes celebrations this Saturday, but those looking to buy fireworks are not exactly spoilt for choice.

The Warehouse, Kmart, Foodstuffs and Woolworths have all confirmed their stores will not sell fireworks this year.

But all is not lost — pyrotechnics specialist Bad Boy Fireworks has confirmed it will sell fireworks at dedicated shops around the country. There would not have a shop in the Clutha but it would have shops in Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill, all opening yesterday.

By law, fireworks can only be sold between November 2-5 to adults over 18, but they can be used at any time on private property with the consent of the property owner.

It is believed the only public display of fireworks in Otago will be at Dunedin’s Beachlands Speedway on Saturday night.

Celebrations on November 5 originate from a failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London by Guy Fawkes and others in 1605. More than 400 years later it is still marked in New Zealand. But the rocket wars between university students about 40 years ago and the large displays have long gone as fireworks are not as popular as they once were.

‘‘We no longer get call-outs like we did back in the ’80s with sky-rockets,’’ Fire and Emergency group commander Clutha District Rob Torrance said.

‘‘Guy Fawkes should be about families having fun together with fireworks. Make a safety meeting part of it with a think about wind and dry conditions, an escape and assembly plan and water bucket and hose. If you’re being a thoughtful neighbour with respect for property and pets, you shouldn’t have any problems, but if anything happens don’t hesitate to dial 111,’’ he said.