Sigh – Goodbye Guy Fawkes – we should probably ban private fireworks


Majority want to see fireworks banned in NZ, survey says

A recent survey has found that a majority of Kiwis want to see backyard fireworks banned or fireworks banned entirely ahead of Guy Fawkes this Sunday.


Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

I don’t complain about your fucking dog barking all the time, so one night a year I will let off fireworks!

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I’m sorry.

I love Guy Fawkes.

I do.

The joy of my younger years running around with double-happys and sparklers and moon rockets have been all but reduced to sparklers these days as we have relentlessly moved to reduce the more dangerous elements of fireworks but the idea behind Guy Fawkes is one so beautiful that I don’t want it to leave us.

I  do not want us to lose the spirit of rebellion that Guy Fawkes represented.

When I burn the Guy on my bonfire, I’m not burning some Catholic zealot from 400 years ago, I’m burning the 1%, I’m burning neoliberalism, I’m burning vested corporate interests, I’m burning the deep state and I’m burning the 5 Fucking eyes.

We should as the Activist Left, take back Guy Fawkes Day and make the symbolic burning of the 1%, neoliberalism, vested corporate interests, the deep state and the 5 Eyes a fundamental part of the celebration.

In the words of V from V for Vendetta…

People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people”

…as a nation of sheep, we need more symbolic rebellion, not less.

The Neanderthal glee of loud fire mixed with the exhilaration of different coloured exploding fire is a pleasure I refuse to relinquish!


Even as I sing the joys of Guy Fawkes Day, I have to admit the glaring reality that demands private fireworks must be banned.

Global warming.

Our country is being turned into one giant tinder box with all the pine trees and foliage getting dryer and dryer.

We are on the verge of an enormous fire season problem that will require enormous spending of money on professionalising the volunteer Fire Service and allowing people to use private fireworks is just a recipe for disaster.

We need to ban private fireworks because the fire hazard is only going to grow and grow with each passing year as global warming becomes more extreme.

You can take my sparkler out of my dead cold hands because sparklers will be the only thing we can buy, and there will probably have to be some safety condom you have to wear before even handling one.

There is something magical about a a group of people and a large bonfire at night.

We shouldn’t lose that.


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  1. I don’t care for what reason we ban fireworks so long as people shut the fuck up.

    Dogs, shut the fuck up.
    Bass speakers, shut the fuck up.
    Squealing children, shut the fuck up.

    People are useless inconsiderate fucks who can’t be trusted, let’s stop selling them explosives to set off whenever they like 365.25 days a year.

    If they were used only on guy fawkes, or to blow up parliament, I wouldn’t care. But the social contract has been broken for decades so now people can’t have fun. Tough.

    • don’t the police have powers to stop firework displays outside ‘season’ I thought they did..if for no other reason on noise grounds…some of the devices used the other night were well out of order…as an ex brit I loved bommy as a kid but as usual in nz a few tossers spoil it for the rest of us giving the karens the excuse they need.

  2. Yes, it was all very lovely and community spirited in our young days. Neighbours bonfires, well away from houses, pets kept safe, sossie in a blanket smothered with tomato sauce etc. Very nostalgic and I well remember the black paper we had at school the next day to draw our fireworks pictures.
    But now, it’s a mad free-for-all lasting 2 weeks. It’s not the friendly, colourful, single safe evening of family fun it used to be.
    People, whom you might think have the least to spend on frivolities, are spending up large and it literally goes up in smoke. Saves US buying fireworks though!
    Ban backyard fireworks. Have public displays AWAY from housing. All over by 10 p.m. Some people have to get up early!
    Can we finally get rid of this scourge? Will someone, for God’s sake, make a decision!!!
    And while they are at it, send daylight saving the same way.

  3. Save Guy Fawkes and those spectacular WCC Fireworks over the Wellington Harbour. No, Not Tory Whanau’s firework attacks on financially prudent Nicola Young, Ray Chung, Diane Calver, and Tony Rundle, but those magic night sky shows.

    Downtown Wellington’s regress is due to the major effects of earthquake damage, the pandemic, people working from home, online shopping, businesses closing. It is echoed in Melbourne, London – even Oxford Street – and other places unbeknown to the Mayor, although the WCC has to bear some responsibility for anti-social social housing in odd places, and government immigration policy morphing Courtney Place into Little Asia.

    Nobody wants pets panicked or people injured by backyard fireworks, any more than we long-standing ratepayers want our rates deployed for the Mayor to attack elected councillors. The WCC did Guy Fawkes better than it does potholes or plumbing, and a good time was had by all, including those watching safely from front room windows. Let’s keep it. It’s part of our colourful heritage, and we have to hang onto it, or it’ll be Christmas next, and New Year, and Easter, or anything else which killjoy bullies take it upon themselves to make our lives as grey and boring as their lonely little brain cells.

  4. Loved them, back in the day, so continue on, even though they can be annoying to my old behind now days (still more fun than annoying tho)

  5. I too love fireworks. I have memories of the big bonfire on our acre of land as a kid in Otautahi. I am tired of people going on and on about why we should ban it.

    Do these same people want to ban alcohol which gives us 1000% more grief than fireworks ever had.

  6. Martyn – I too, like Guy Fawkes…but, in Auckland, Guy Fawkes tend to start in November, and goes to February for some reason…with many nights waking at 2am due to fireworks.

  7. If it was just 1 night it might not be so bad but it goes on for weeks especiallythe big bangs .It is animals both do.estic and wild that are upset .Birds are nesting and are disturbed with their young.
    Public displays are safer but in times if need the money could be spent in better ways.

  8. Everyone (especially the MSM and government) just wants us soullessly watching TV like in WALL-E, consuming mindless content, buying into nonsense propaganda. The days of fireworks, climbing trees and bulrush in school will be reduced to mere memories of people that lived better lives.

  9. I used to think that private fireworks were essential but as you mention the fire risk now makes that virtually impossible to support. There is also the problem where people purchasing fireworks to use during even drier parts of the year.

  10. Fireworks terrify my dogs, one cowered on my bed last night trembling in fear.
    Just up the road last year a horse was badly injured running through a fence to escape fireworks.
    I know people love these explosives, I know that they create fun and happiness for some, but the impact is too great. I hate bans, can’t we just be aware of the impact, be empathetic and not use them.

    • Yes. The problem is with the impacts & lack of consideration of others. It isn’t just fireworks on one night of the year. They start being let off in the week before 5 November and can continue for a week or 2 after. Then some people stockpile them and seem to let them off randomly throughout the year eg sometimes in the early hours of the morning.

      It’s always the inconsiderate people that spoil it for the majority. That goes for animal owners, too. Some people just should not own dogs or need some training in how to treat them. There’s a rising number of dog attacks.

    • There’s a big distinction between this causes pain and you caused pain. There are people who will explain everything through the experience of non humans and there are people who don’t hold that view and would say it’s not an emotional process that may correspond to an emotional process but it’s not identical animal rights and Guy Fawks are separate things. There’s a link between bad behaviour but overall there’s an adaptive benefit to the creature or for kiwis generally but you might have something like guy fawks is beneficial overal but you might get some fringe thing that produces suicide but the reason you’re getting that behaviour is because it is tied someway to something that is beneficial.

  11. “…as a nation of sheep, ”
    Do you know sheep? Have you met a sheep? Sheep are not entirely what someone imprisoned within a consumerist narrative within the prisons without walls we’ve come to understand as being ‘cities’ think they are. Sheep, like all animals and plants, don’t care what humans think of them because they’re who they are and we’re best avoided. That much they know about us.
    The Guardian.
    Guy Fawkes night terrify’s my dog so fuck Guy Fawkes night. If we must celebrate the occasion of murderous morons in tights trying to argue that their madnesses were madder than the madnesses of others so we should consider sarin gas instead of explosives.
    Sadly, I loved Guy Fawkes night when I was a kid. One could get those huge, moon rocket kinds of sky rockets that could really make a fuss. I took our kids up to the back section of our house in Lyttelton and fired those sky rockets at the Russian fishing boats through an old piece of plastic rainwater pipe during an infamous period of when the doomsday clock was about half a second away from nuclear armageddon. My father told me once, in a rare moment of convivial good humour, of when he was in Invercargill as a kid and watched as other kids fired sky rockets out of a beer bottle up into the air over Bank Corner, the notoriously windy intersection of Tay and Dee streets. Just as the fuse took hold, as the wind blew in, the bottle fell over, the sky rocket shot off horizontally and just as at that exact and precise moment when you know there are great and yet undiscovered mysteries of the Universe, a woman wearing a heavy wool coat came around the corner as the wind blew her coat open at the precise moment. The sky rocket traveling now horizontally as if window shopping then went up her coat, then, the wind blew her coat shut again.Oh! The wailing, the howling, the smoke and sparks then the ka-boom followed by more sparks of different colours and lots more smoke. My father could remember that the skyrocket scorched her nylons off down to her shoes but she was otherwise ok. My father, just a kid back then, nearly asphyxiated himself from laughter induced asthma.
    Ah, those were the days. In the mid 197-0s we bought a new semi-auto12 gauge shot gun out of the sports department at Farmers and Haywrights in Christchurch, my father used to be able to buy gelignite from The Farmers Co-Op, I could buy ammunition for my Winchester .22 magnum at any sports shop or hardware store.
    Now? Today? The only guns I’ve seen where the ones pointed at a guy two doors down by the AOS. Honestly, a fucking army turned up. Dogs, machine guns, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Reacher. The whole vacant logical fallacy frisson was there with pointy guns, small dicks and high hopes of gun smoke.

    • Maori don’t want some Catholic imperialist colonial celebration tagged on to Matariki
      Most Matariki event organises have quietly dropped fireworks as the very constellation we are supposed to be worshipping is obliterated by fireworks.

    • I totally agree millsy. A number of reasons (1) it’s ‘our’ celebration, (2) it falls before daylight saving starts, (3) it’s before our dryer months start.
      It’s well past time, despite what Martyn thinks, to move on from that colonial nonsense.

    • That might actually mitigate the problem Martyn identifies here, as in most of NZ June is more humid than November, hence less fire risk.

      Not a bad idea, millsy.

    • Public displays, away from houses, yes. But not private backyard fireworks for all the reasons others have mentioned.
      There are too many inconsiderate people around.

  12. It is just a racket. Suckers buy “this is your last chance to have fireworks” blurb and buy as much as they cannot afford, so a handful of dodgy importers and retailers can make a mint.

  13. Fireworks are a business, there is no way in hell a National government will abolish it whether it’s right or wrong, it’s the way they operate!

  14. Fireworks are good fun.

    They go on for a couple of weeks in Auckland and your dog gets used to them, no big drama, in my experience.

    The reason it goes on for a couple of weeks is the lack of education in civics so a lot of people know which night Guy Fawlkes is and parents don’t teach their kids delayed gratification and the booms come early.

    It’s a protestant tradition of celebration of the failure of the overthrow of ‘democratic’ government. At the same times its a Catholic celebration of fighting back against government persecution.

    And maybe its an annual rebellious warning to the state which is surely as important as Christmas and Matariki.

    And you’ve got to ask yourself if you are anti-fireworks are you just a member of the snowflake, fun police?

  15. “There is something magical about a a group of people and a large bonfire at night.”

    True, but the sad fact is that you cant trust an increasing proportion of the population with fire or fireworks

  16. Guy Fawkes was a festival that united society against a common foe. We no longer roll burning Bishops down hills, and we are poorer for it. So how about it, Chris? Take one for the team? Do tobacco lobbyists burn smoother or more stylishly? The public need to know.

    Personally, I think Mr Fawkes was set up. You have someone so inclined build the mother of all bombs under a den of iniquity as rotten as Parliament, and you catch him alive without the bomb going off? Chekov would end it differently. There must have been an inside man, and James really needed the positive press of plotters to execute.

    We are headed that way again – a worthless corrupt and self-serving rabble oppressing our country, and elections offering farcically lousy ‘alternatives’. Wannabe OPAs lurking on the fringes, but thus far no Inaros to galvanize resistance. Rise, and rise again, until NZ has political justice.

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