A young man accused of torching 15 properties during a South Auckland arson spree laughed as he walked out of court today on bail.
The 21-year-old appeared in Auckland District Court today.
The Herald can reveal the accused, whose name and occupation are suppressed, is facing a firearms charge in addition to 15 counts of arson and one charge of burglary.
He was arrested last month after police hunted for the alleged firebugs.
The firearms charge is for a separate incident.
Today, before Judge David Sharp, the young man made an electronically monitored bail application.
Judge Sharp granted the application but suppressed the location of where the accused will be bailed to.
As the alleged arsonist was led out of the dock he began laughing and said: "I'm going home, woo-hoo ... got bail, bro!"
He will next appear in court later this month, along with his co-accused, a 21-year-old farm hand who was also charged with 15 counts of arson and one charge of burglary.
The co-accused is already on bail.
Both men have yet to enter a plea to the arson charges.
Several properties were targeted in the fires throughout the wider Papakura and Pukekohe area in April, including two schools.
Show homes and vacant houses being built were also set alight, including a Pukekohe home under construction.
The fires are understood to have caused damage worth at least hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
Puni School principal Haydon Brill earlier told the Herald that the fire at his school had "completely gutted" one of the school's classrooms and could cost more than $100,000 to replace.
"We are devastated, we are angry but we are also incredibly relieved that we have had support. We're incredibly relieved that [police] have found someone," he said.
Counties Manukau South area commander Inspector Dave Glossop said during the search for the alleged offenders that an investigation team was working closely with Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
After the initial arrest, Glossop hoped the apprehension of the alleged arsonists would provide some comfort to the communities affected.