A 20-year-old man with serious face injuries was taken to Southland Hospital after being hit directly in the eye with a firework last night.

The incident was one of many which kept emergency services busy around the country in the lead-up to Guy Fawkes night tonight.

The man was taken from Waikaka, just north of Gore, to Southland Hospital in Invercargill in the early hours of this morning.

He will be transferred to a different hospital today because he has a serious eye injury after a rocket was shot directly in his face, a St John southern communications shift manager said.


Further north, a male fell into a bonfire in Pukekohe, south of Auckland, suffering serious injuries.

He was taken to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition after emergency services were called about 8.30pm.

A St John northern communications shift manager said this morning the patient had burns to his arm.

Fire service northern communications shift manager Scott Osmond said firefighters were called to about a dozen fireworks-related incidents overnight but the Pukekohe incident was the only major event.

Southern fire communications shift manager Brent Dunn said he couldn't yet put a figure on the number of callouts his area had responded to, but said it was a busy night.

"There were quite a few fireworks calls, which we'd expect."

Selwyn, North Canterbury and Dunedin were the busiest areas for callouts, he said.

In the bottom half of the North Island, about half a dozen callouts were fireworks-related, fire's central communications shift manager said.