Waitangi Day celebratory scrum halts London traffic
New Zealanders in London celebrated Waitangi Day with a rugby game that halted traffic.
The spontaneous rugby match occurred in the midst of a Waitangi Day pub crawl along the London Underground Circle Line which thousands of costumed Kiwis participate in annually.
Footage of the traffic-disrupting game emerged only the day after Prime Minister John Key said our international reputation for how we celebrate our national day was already less than positive in the wake of Steven Joyce receiving a dildo to the face thrown by a Waitangi protester.
But New Zealander in London Matt Fejos said the pub crawl event was "really positive".
"The pub crawl has a really good record – I think there's only been one arrest in the past few years."
"In terms of international relations, I think it does more to improve them, than it does to hinder them," Fejos said.
Wellingtonian Fejos works in marketing in Manchester, and coaches a futsal team on the side.
Fejos had caught the train into central London for the event wearing a sheep onesie especially for the occasion.
"The pub crawl was amazing – there were Kiwis everywhere," he said.
"You feel like you could be at the sevens, or at a keg party in Hyde Street."
He said he was walking in the midst of the pub crawl "with a rugby ball in hand, of course", when a congregation of people came together on Cliveden Place in central London to form two teams.
"Being from New Zealand there was obviously going to be a rugby match," Fejos said.
"There was a cheeky scrum on a pedestrian crossing. Cars were kind of obliged to stop."
The Kiwi said the event, which ended with a haka, predominantly attracted Kiwi participants though a few Australian "imposters" got involved.
The Waitangi Day Pub Crawl draws thousands of Kiwis to pubs along the London tube's Circle Line. The event has now been going for more than 30 years.
In 2012, a urinating Waitangi Day mob of drunk Kiwis sparked a complaint to the New Zealand High Commission.
In subsequent years, Kiwis had been warned off performing the haka to avoid looking disrespectful.