Tough fireworks restrictions did not stop bumper sales yesterday as people stocked up for Guy Fawkes celebrations.
New government regulations have raised the age that people can buy fireworks from 14 to 18, and have cut the sales days from 10 to four.
Hamilton's Frankton Model Shop owner Geoff Leong said opening day sales were strong, with about 12 people waiting outside early yesterday to buy fireworks.
Based on initial sales, he said, he might sell as many fireworks as last year. While the shop had cut its stock slightly, it was still offering about 80 varieties.
"We've had lots of families come through and buy packs," Mr Leong said. "Asking for ID hasn't been a problem either, people have been really good about it."
Under the regulations, popular "sparklers" have to be sold in packs with other fireworks.
Mr Leong said sparklers had become a problem recently with some people making sparkler bombs. "It's a real shame because sparklers are popular with families. I'm sure these families are disappointed by the restrictions."
Mill St Pak 'N Save owner Glenn Miller was confident the Hamilton supermarket would sell as many fireworks as last year.
"Every year it seems people are told that this could be the final year of firework sales and so they go out and buy them."
Environmental Risk Management Agency chief executive Rob Forlong said the regulations were designed to "reduce the irresponsible use of fireworks". "We want to see an end to the damage caused by fireworks when they aren't used as they should be."
He said the shortened sale period should limit firework use, with sales ending on Monday.
Community fireworks displays include today's Waikato Fireworks Fiesta at the Ohaupo Rugby Club grounds, Forkert Rd. Entertainment begins at 5pm, with the main display at 9pm. Adults cost $7, children $3.
A Fireworks Extravaganza at the Morrinsville Recreation Ground today starts at 5pm. Adults $10, children $5.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Last updated 00:00 03/11/2007