New Zealand pop up shops create controversy !
Roadside pop up stores appeared for Guy Fawkes last week, and the NZ PM weighed in to the controversy…
Just a week or so ago, we posted an article on those scary halloween pop up shops – also mentioning that as soon as the goblins and ghouls go home there’s yet another (foreign) annual celebration around the corner – Guy Fawkes Night on 5th November (fire crackers and bonfires). In most of Australia the sale of fireworks is strictly controlled by governments, reducing the risks of personal injuries and distress to animals (my mother’s childhood Cocker Spaniel “old Bill” used to climb inside a kitchen cupboard…)
But “across the dutch” in New Zealand, it seems that fireworks are still legal (for just four days a year, restricted to age 18+), as long as vendors don’t breach local laws. On November 2nd stuff.co.nz published the report of a pop up fireworks store contravening Auckland bylaws because it has set up on the side of a highway and posed a “hazard for passing motorists”#. The New Zealand Transport Agency had instructed the operators of Flying Phoenix Fireworks to move their pop up container as it didn’t have the required roadside vendors licence – but the operator said they did have permits.
And the day after Guy Fawkes (6th November) another media article appeared, quoting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern saying that she had noticed an increase in pop-up sales around Auckland – “just people pulled up on the side of the road… selling stockpiles of fireworks out the back of a truck…”* When asked her opinion on fireworks, Ms. Ardern “admits she has some misgivings… ‘as a kid I loved it – as an adult, it’s a pain in the butt’ ”
Retail NZ says that regulations have been tightened up over recent years, with strict rules in place around the sale and handling of fireworks – and that may have forced sales out of the general retail outlets and into pop up stores. But they’re not necessarily breaking any laws… “under Auckland Council regulations, pop-up vendors only need resource consent if they are operating on public land or their site carries a residential zoning. If they are selling from land with business zoning – commercial or industrial – no consent is required”*
Retail NZ public affairs general manager Greg Harford “insists the roadside stalls are not symptomatic (fireworks) sales are out of control. In fact, just the opposite is true…The current regulations are very prescriptive and very detailed,” he says. “We think they work reasonably well.”*
images : stuff.co.nz, newshub.co.nz, Flying Phoenix Fireworks
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