Northland mayors have voted against a ban on private fireworks but the people they represent may back the idea if their feedback is sought.
Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith, Far North Mayor John Carter and Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai were at the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) conference in Wellington where the voting took place after a remit by Auckland councillor Cathy Casey.
Despite the Northland mayors' opposition to the ban, Casey's remit received 64 per cent support and a recommendation will now be forwarded by LGNZ to the Government for a ban to be put in place.
Casey said private fireworks caused significant harm and distress, including damage to properties and worry for animals and should be banned.
Casey said New Zealand was way behind Australia which banned private fireworks about 30 years ago.
She supports public displays which she says are much better and safer.
Smith voted against the ban and said other smaller councils would likely follow suit.
"One of the challenges we have in Kaipara is there are no public fireworks displays like the Matariki show, New Year celebration or Guy Fawkes' night because we don't have the money for that.
"Kaipara District Council doesn't fund any of those, unlike larger cities. We have enough trouble funding our roads so we are not going to burn it on fireworks," he said.
Smith said despite the remit attracting 64 per cent support at the conference, a recommendation would be made to the Government, which has the final say.
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He said weighed voting took place, whereby mayors held different voting power according to the number of ratepayers they represented.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff gets 17 votes on the remit while Whangārei and the Far North councils get five each.
Kaipara has three votes.
Carter didn't support the ban because his council has not had time to discuss the issue with the public.
"I am unaware it's a major issue but we'll consider whether to take it to the community," he said.
Mai said Whangārei District Council's view was that the public should be able to enjoy fireworks in their backyard.
SPCA is thrilled LGNZ has supported Casey's remit and would like to see similar action taken in Northland.
SPCA Northland area manager said the animal welfare organisation did not support the private sale and use of fireworks and has long called for their ban to the public.
"Each year we receive dozens of call relating to firework issues including animal injuries, frightened animals, missing pets and occasional abuse of animals.
"Having the support of LGNZ is a win for the animals, and a step in the right direction where animals will no longer need to be distressed by fireworks," she said.
Serious fireworks incidents this year in Northland include one in the Bay of Islands on January 23 where fireworks lit by boaties on a launch moored at Waiwhapuku Bay, at the northeastern tip of Moturua Island, sparked a fire which wiped out vegetation on a small islet separated by at most 15m from the main island.
The skipper of the boat has been identified, and fire authorities say they will take action once the current spate of blazes is over.
A few days earlier, an incendiary device made with fireworks and detonated on a beach on Purerua Peninsula, also in the Bay of Islands, started a fire at Rangihoua Heritage Park.
In that case, a 25-year-old Kerikeri man has been charged with arson and the case is before the court.