Police, organisers condemn violence at Auckland's Polyfest
GRAPHIC WARNING: The video with this story may upset some viewers.
Several brawls erupted at the Polyfest school cultural festival in Auckland at the weekend.
Footage of several violent incidents at the event have surfaced online, and police and festival organisers have confirmed they are investigating.
The footage included images of a brawl between a group of young men spilling out in the way of oncoming traffic on Te Irirangi Drive in east Auckland.
Two of the boys end up on the ground and are stomped on and punched before the fight breaks up.
Another video shows a fight between a group of girls.
One is being dragged by her hair before people cut in and put a stop to it.
The girls continue to swear at each other after the fight has ended.
That video has been viewed and shared by thousands.
Police confirmed they were called to two incidents outside of the festival where there were reports of fighting.
One was on Saturday at 4pm outside Westfield Mall.
The second incident, captured on the footage posted online, was at the intersection of Te Irirangi Drive and Great South Road also on Saturday at 5pm. Those involved had left before police's arrival.
Police said that overall the behaviour of the more than 90,000 who attended the four-day south Auckland festival was impressive.
"It is incredibly disappointing to see the videos being posted online which reflects the behaviour of just a small number of the 90,000 people who attended," a spokeswoman said.
Two arrests were made in incidents unrelated to the event itself.
Police said no arrests were made in relation to the behaviour at the festival.
Polyfest event director Theresa Howard said it was a shame that the behaviour of a few on the outskirts of the festival had the potential to ruin things for the rest of the participants, most of whom were well-behaved and excited to be there. "I'm very surprised and it is unfortunate after all the hype and all the exciting things that have happened."
Howard said organisers were working alongside the police to find out if those filmed fighting were from a particular school.
Polyfest had a strict no alcohol policy and all bags were searched before students were allowed into the grounds, Howard said.
Polyfest brings together more than 9000 Auckland students to celebrate Maori, Niue, Tongan, Samoan, Cook Island cultures.
Stuff reporter Kymberlee Fernandes attended Polyfest during the week and said the overall vibe was positive. "The first two days were pretty slow.
"However, Friday was massive with heaps of kids everywhere.
"I didn't sense a bad vibe at all. In fact, everyone seemed excited and happy to be there. Most kids spoke to me freely and looked like everyone was there to have a good time.
"I'm quite surprised at the brawl videos."
She said even when nobody was onstage there didn't seem to be any rivalry or fighting between schools. "They were just engrossed in cheering their own team. I wouldn't be able to guess what triggered the fights."