Idiots once again have taken fireworks and triggered the annual debate about whether or not New Zealand should still allow the sale of fireworks to the general public.
Saturday night's fire on Te Mata Peak was probably avoidable.
A media report states families letting off fireworks at Te Mata Peak may have caused the fire — they decamped from the scene when they were confronted about the fire so no personal responsibility on display.
This fire has now triggered the annual discussion about banning fireworks except for council-sanctioned displays.
I don't want to see the public banned from being able to purchase fireworks, rural people often live a long way from public displays, and nor do I want to see the only fireworks we're able to purchase the sparkler.
I remember a childhood of being able to enjoy bonfires and firing off double happys and skyrockets, but those are activities that have been banned or regulated because of idiots who wrecked it for the rest of us.
I don't think more regulation is the key — we have enough regulation as is — maybe if central government or local councils actually invested in enforcement maybe their regulations would work.
The Green Party has written to the environment select committee asking for it to consult the public on banning the private sale and use of fireworks.
I don't think prohibition will work. I understand the motivation behind the call and to implement a ban — it would reduce the workload on our fire brigades, hospital emergency departments and animal welfare officers, but it still would not stop idiots.
Any ban would just punish people who used good sense around fireworks.
The idiots would probably still find a way to use fireworks or make homemade devices.
The same idiots would still drive out to a dry bit of land and let off their homemade fireworks.
You can't legislate for idiots.
What we need to see is the creation of a public demand for personal responsibility.
We need people to understand there are consequences for their actions and they are responsible for what they do.
Jim Galloway is Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay provincial president.