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The Environmental Risk Management Authority has decided that people who possess certain types of explosives must undergo a Police check.
This check is a key requirement in obtaining a controlled substances licence.
In announcing the decision, the Authority said it wanted to take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to the potential misuse of explosives in New Zealand. The licence would create a significant benefit in reducing the risks associated with such misuse, the Authority said.
ERMA New Zealand’s Hazardous Substances Compliance Co-ordination Manager, Dr Simon Buckland, says the licence is a security measure to ensure that only “fit and proper’’ persons can legitimately possess certain classes of explosives.
A Police check of a person’s criminal history (if any) is undertaken as part of the fit and proper person assessment.
The requirement brings explosives into line firearms, cyanide and certain other high-risk substances in New Zealand. The licence is also consistent with overseas requirements.
To obtain a controlled substances licence, a person must be an approved handler, pass a Police check, be 17 years of age or older and require the substance for their work.
The licence requirement comes into effect from 1 July 2009. To minimise compliance costs, the Authority agreed to a transitional period for existing users, who will not have to apply for a licence until their current approved handler certificate expires.
Smokeless powder, used by recreational shooters, will not require a licence, providing the holder has a firearms licence. A licence will not be required for other less hazardous substances, such as retail fireworks, marine safety flares and safety ammunition.
Those interested are invited to read the full decision at: