The fireworks compromise

by Jill Dickie

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, fireworks displays are a part of life whether living rural or close to town. The way we deal with the effects of Guy Fawkes night, as well as the following months of boom, bang, whistle and flash, is what can shape the future availability of these rockets and sparklers.

Communities working together to create a public event brings people together in one place to enjoy a spectacular display bigger and brighter than what could realistically be afforded at home.

In holding such an event in an area away from paddocks containing animals who may take fright keeps those animals safe from harm and their owners and carers stress free.

One such safe event is the popular Rolleston display in November, where visitors paid a small fee on entry which covered the costs for the organising committee, and provided a fundraising opportunity for local clubs to sell food and drinks. Along with music on stage the night is a principal event on the Selwyn calendar, and an interesting template for other communities to mimic. In providing a public event, the potential is there for members of the public not to purchase fireworks of their own to set off at home, disturbing neighbours and their livestock.

Obviously many animals are not disturbed by the unexpected lights and booms, and this can create complacency in many. In addition, people who have grown up in town with regular backyard displays who then move into the country onto a lifestyle block for example, may not understand the ways of country living nor the importance of being respectful of their neighbours.

It could be considered then, a good option to proceed with public events and limit the use and purchase to private buyers as a way of compromise, or fireworks may be completely banned which would be a shame for those that enjoy them. We can’t all have what we want, but we can work together to accommodate everyone’s wishes.