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Consultation document on high power laser pointers released

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew today announced the release of a consultation document outlining proposed options for new government controls on high power hand-held laser pointers.

"The consultation is being undertaken to see what people think about how risks from high power hand-held laser pointers should be managed," said Mrs Goodhew.

"This is in response to the availability of more powerful laser pointers and an increase in incidents involving their accidental or malicious use."

Hand-held laser pointers have been sold for many years and many are low risk. However, as technology has advanced more powerful laser pointers which have much greater potential to harm the user and others have become readily available.

There has also been an increase in the number of incidents where people have deliberately pointed a high power laser pointer at aircraft, cars and other vehicles. In 2011 about 100 laser strikes on aircraft were reported to the Civil Aviation Authority.

There are currently no laws governing the import, availability and sale of high power laser pointers in New Zealand.

"The proposed options seek to balance the protection of people’s health and safety with the Government’s commitment to better and less regulation," Mrs Goodhew said.

Feedback from the consultation will help inform final proposals that will be considered by the Government.

Copies of the consultation paper and information about how to make a submission is available on the Ministry of Health’s website www.health.govt.nz.

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