National survey reveals Kiwis want backyard fireworks banned

The tradition of Guy Fawkes may be losing its appeal, with new research commissioned by AA Insurance revealing the majority of Kiwis think fireworks should be banned in our backyards.

When asked if there should be a ban on fireworks, 53% of those surveyed supported a ban for recreational use, while an additional 20% wanted to go further and have fireworks banned entirely.

The survey also revealed people’s top reasons for wanting fireworks banned, with ‘scaring animals’, ‘risk of fire’, ‘risk of personal injury’, ‘social disruption’ and ‘irresponsible use’ ranking top among respondents’ rationale.

Tom Bartlett, Head of Home Claims at AA Insurance, says, “The topic of fireworks and their effects has long been debated, and it appears that nearly three quarters of Kiwis now want a ban in place for recreational or ‘backyard’ use, at least.

“While people have different reasons to be concerned about fireworks, with drier weather finally arriving we are simply asking Kiwis to light fireworks responsibly.

“Backyard fireworks, often around a campfire, increase the risk of things going wrong, including personal injury and flames getting out of control. Setting off fireworks too close to your home can cause them to potentially hit other parts of the house resulting in damage or burn marks, as well denting cars. We don’t want any of our customers to be in a situation where they get hurt or lose irreplaceable items due to a seemingly fun fireworks activity taking a turn for the worst.

“Often people don’t realise how quickly things can catch fire, and how quickly those fires can escalate. Things like smouldering ashes from a campfire or unattended cooking can cause a lot of damage.

“In the last year, we have seen an incremental increase in claims related to larger house fires1 and on top of the personal trauma of getting injured or losing treasured items, the cost of house fire claims is being exacerbated by skyrocketing costs of repair. In the last year, we have paid out over $15 million in claims2 related to larger house fires. As we head into the summer months and people look to celebrate with a few fireworks, we want them to do so safely.”

Top reasons for wanting fireworks banned entirely or for recreational were:

Fireworks scaring animals

  • Causes of fire

  • Risk of injury

  • Social disruption

  • Irresponsible use

Tips from AA Insurance for Fireworks season:

  • Be conscious of the weather conditions when lighting fireworks. Find an open area and avoid dry vegetation, and always pour water on used fireworks and open flames to stop them smouldering.

  • Check your smoke alarms and make sure they are working.

  • Never leave candles unattended. Extinguish all candles before you go to bed.

  • Keep pets and animals away and indoors when lighting fireworks

  • Don’t hold or throw fireworks while lighting them, instead use a steady stable ground to light them.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association Limited (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 1000+ employees look after 500,000+ customers with more than 1,000,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety New Zealand – the Children’s Charity (as the lead partner of its Beds for Kids programme), Student Volunteer Army and support grassroot school sports via our Big Little Sponsorship sports grant in partnership with Eden Park. We are consistently recognised in industry awards and honours, including being voted the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted General Insurer for 13 years running, named Canstar’s 2023 Home and Contents Insurer of the Year and Outstanding Value Award winner, and currently ranked 7th amongst 100 of New Zealand’s most successful companies in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015).

Find out more at

For more information please contact:
AA Insurance Media Team

Media contacts

Customer enquiries

Call us on 0800 500 231 or contact us

Media enquiries


Marketing and sponsorship enquiries