A public fireworks display in Palmerston North went wrong last night, sparking a scrub fire at Anzac Park.

The fire started shortly after the annual fireworks display began above the Manawatū River.

The shoreline across the river from Anzac Park, towards the Manawatū Golf Club, was packed with people - with many capturing the blaze on camera.

One video shows flames stretching out of the bush and into the night sky, causing an orange tinge to spread over the area.


Firefighters called to 55 fireworks-related blazes across upper North Island
Blazes on Mt Eden and Mt Wellington in Auckland
Fireworks shot from cars and aimed at buildings, vegetation
Fresh calls for fireworks ban as pet owners, firefighters brace for Guy Fawkes

At the same time, large fireworks were still being set off above the blaze.

A spokeswoman for Fire and Emergency New Zealand this morning told the Herald they were called to the blaze shortly after 9pm.

Five fire appliances attended the incident - two from Palmerston North and three from rural stations.

A scrub fire broke out during the fireworks display. Photo / Undercover Palmy
A scrub fire broke out during the fireworks display. Photo / Undercover Palmy

Meanwhile, a FENZ spokesman said overnight the blaze reached a size of 50m by 70m in size, Stuff reported.

The cause of the fire was unknown, however, several calls from the public had indicated fireworks were the cause.

The blaze was contained by 9.50pm, later extinguished by crews at 10.20pm.

Elsewhere, firefighters were called to more than 50 fireworks-related blazes throughout the country overnight.


Last night's woes come as anti-fireworks groups head to Parliament next week to lobby for a ban on private sales.

A select committee is hearing submissions on the issue after three separate petitions to ban fireworks sales garnered thousands of signatures.

But fireworks importers will also be speaking to the select committee, and they think the silent majority of the public is on their side.

The Government says it currently has no plans to change the law around fireworks.