Retail fireworks - who is responsible?

Fireworks are fun but it’s important to follow the safety instructions to keep your family, pets, and property safe, and be considerate of nearby people and animals.

A number of agencies work together to ensure the fireworks that are available for sale are safe and that the rules for selling, storing and using them are followed.

Which agencies are responsible for what and who should you contact with concerns about fireworks?   

Agency and responsibility

WorkSafe 

  • We are the Government agency that regulates health and safety in a workplace, and administers the regulations for storing fireworks in a workplace.
  • We also approve compliance certifiers who certify public/commercial displays. You should notify us of a planned public/commercial display, or, after a display, if any pyrotechnics malfunctioned or caused fire or injury.

NZ Police

  • The New Zealand Police enforce regulations around the sale of retail fireworks, including requirements around the sale period and age restrictions. These regulations are made under the HSNO Act(external link).
  • The Police address complaints about dangerous use of fireworks. You should contact your local police station(external link) if you have a concern about dangerous firework use.
  • If it’s an emergency you should dial 111.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • The EPA is responsible for providing information about the sale of retail fireworks. They are also responsible for approving certifiers to test and certify that retail fireworks are safe prior to being sold in NZ. EPA provide approval for hazardous substances, including fireworks.  They also provide import certificates to allow fireworks to be brought into New Zealand and the requirements for labelling and packaging of fireworks.

Local Councils

  • Local councils deal with complaints about noise from fireworks or the welfare of animals.
  • They also enforce regulations about fireworks stored in residential properties (and anywhere other than a workplace). 

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)

  • NZTA is responsible for enforcing Land Transport Rule 1: Dangerous Goods 2005, Rule 45001/1, which covers fireworks being transported on the road. 

Questions and answers

Storing fireworks – what quantities trigger which requirements?

You can have up to 500 kg (gross weight) of retail fireworks, 500 kg and over and you will need to have a certified handler.

You can have up to 1,000 kg (gross weight) of retail fireworks inside a shop, 1,000 kg and over and a hazardous substance location must be established.

At 10,000 kg (gross weight) a location test certificate is required from a compliance certifier.  Check out a list of compliance certifiers here.(external link)

What are my responsibilities if selling retail fireworks?

Check out EPA’s website for a guide to selling retail fireworks(external link)

What if I want to import or manufacture fireworks?

Check out EPA’s website for information on importing or manufacturing explosives(external link) 

How do I use fireworks safely?

You can find more information at:

You can find out about keeping animals safe around fireworks on the SPCA’s website(external link).

Where do I go to complain about animal safety, noise or nuisance?

You should contact your local council(external link) to make a complaint about animal safety, noise or nuisance.

How do I transport fireworks safely?

The NZTA website(external link) provides information about dangerous goods (including fireworks), what you need to do to be able to carry them, and how to transport them safely.

Where do I go to report unsafe use of fireworks?

You can report unsafe firework use to your local police station(external link).

In an emergency dial 111.