Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) wants people in areas under fireworks bans to give them a call if they see fireworks being let off.

Lunar New Year celebrations start this weekend amid continuing hot, dry conditions across many parts of the motu.

Fireworks and sky lanterns are banned in many areas: Ahipara in Northland, Karikari Peninsula, Ripiro Beach, Mackenzie Basin, Central Otago, Naseby, Upper Waitaki, Lake Ōhau, Otago Lakes and Glendhu Bluffs, Canterbury, Kaikōura, Wellington District, Kāpiti and Wairarapa.

National Wildfire Manager Tim Mitchell said FENZ expected restrictions in more areas and asked people to check on the FENZ website for up to date bans.

RNZ understands fireworks were let off in some Wellington suburbs on Friday night.

Mitchell said the public needed to be vigilant, particularly with the current dry conditions. He urged people to call 111 if there was legitimate fire risk or, if not, people should ring their local FENZ district office.

FENZ is also concerned many individuals are stockpiling fireworks.

Fireworks are available to buy in New Zealand only between November 2 and 5 in the lead up to Guy Fawkes.

But many places around New Zealand hold public fireworks displays for other events such as Lunar New Year, Matariki, Diwali and New Year’s Eve, as well as Guy Fawkes.

Mitchell said fireworks are a form of explosive, and FENZ recommended people do not store them.

He said there are many events being held across the country over the next fortnight to celebrate Chinese New Year, and the safest way to mark the Year of the Wood Dragon with fireworks would be by attending a public event.

rnz.co.nz

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