Guy Fawkes mayhem has started, with reports of people shooting fireworks out of cars and aiming them at buildings and vegetation.

Fire and Emergency's national adviser on fire risk management Peter Gallagher said firefighters attended 41 fireworks-related incidents across the country over the weekend, up from 38 incidents at the same time last year.

"We are disappointed that in a small number of incidents reported, people shot fireworks from cars or aimed them towards vegetation and buildings," he said.

"Most of the fireworks-related incidents were vegetation fires, although there was one involving a garden shed in Counties-Manukau.

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"Weekend sales periods tend to be busy for crews at Fire and Emergency."

Auckland Council says no public events are planned tomorrow night, although public displays are planned at The Trusts Arena in Henderson and at the Waikaraka Park speedway on Saturday night, November 9.

"Fireworks can still be let off on private property, but they are banned in public places [such as parks and beaches] across the whole of Auckland," the council said.

Wellington City Council moved its annual fireworks display from Guy Fawkes night to Matariki last year, and Christchurch City Council held its public display at New Brighton last Friday night, November 1.

Whangārei held its public fireworks display on Saturday night (above), but most activity on Guy Fawkes night will be in private backyards. Photo / Tania Whyte
Whangārei held its public fireworks display on Saturday night (above), but most activity on Guy Fawkes night will be in private backyards. Photo / Tania Whyte

That leaves most people expected to hold their own backyard fireworks parties, with risks heightened by warm, dry weather over most of the country.

A total fire ban is in place in Central Otago and Fire and Emergency NZ has asked people not to use fireworks across Otago and Southland.

Auckland councillor Richard Hills called out private fireworks set off in Central Auckland last night, tweeting: "This is illegal. Fireworks cannot be let off in public places. Also... did those jerks not notice we had a big building with its roof on fire just a week ago."

Regulations permit fireworks sales only between November 2-5 each year.

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Foodstuffs stopped selling fireworks in its Pak'nSave and New World supermarkets last year and Countdown has also stopped selling them this year, citing waning demand.

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Countdown general manager merchandise Scott Davidson said 66 per cent of customers indicated in a recent survey that they rarely or never buy fireworks for private use.

"Almost half of those surveyed said they were buying less fireworks than two years ago," he said.

"Seventy-one per cent stated animal welfare as their most common reason for moving away from fireworks, with other reasons including fire safety concerns [49 per cent], environmental reasons [30 per cent], neighbour disturbance [34 per cent], and personal safety [30 per cent]."

The supermarkets' withdrawal leaves The Warehouse as the main nationwide chain still selling fireworks this year, along with pop-up stores that have opened up over the weekend in many places.

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Warehouse general manager of general merchandise Jenny Epke said she could not disclose sales figures because The Warehouse is a publicly listed company.

"Our stores have a selection of fireworks available for families that want to take part in the event, including special low noise options," she said.

"We only promote their use in a safe and controlled way, with safety messages throughout our stores and on the packaging. All of our fireworks comply with the NZ Code of Practice for Retail Fireworks."

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen is calling for a complete ban on firework sales to the public. Photo / Doug Sherring
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen is calling for a complete ban on firework sales to the public. Photo / Doug Sherring

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen told Newshub that private sales should be banned completely, and urged people holding backyard events to advise their neighbours so that they could prepare their pets.

"Some animals go so far to get out of it they'll injure themselves breaking through walls and windows, and all sorts of things," she told Newshub.

"We are very happy for people to go and enjoy it at a public event, but the individual private events are what's causing most of the [problems]."

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A Police spokesman said police were not able to attend the fireworks reported in central Auckland last night due to other priorities.

"We are disappointed in some of the behaviour that was reported, as some included reports of fireworks being let off near residential buildings," he said.

"People need to be mindful about their behaviour, particularly with fireworks as these could have serious consequences for themselves and other members of the public."