A dramatic video of a fight on Hamilton's main street has emerged online showing security staff brawling with punters in the early hours of Sunday morning.
But the owner of a number of Hamilton's bars at the south end of Victoria St said the fight was gang related and started after two gang associates were kicked out of The Hood bar because they were causing problems.
And police have confirmed the fight started after a gang member was trespassed from a city bar and shortly joined on the street by other associates.
The Lawrenson Group chief executive John Lawrenson said there were about eight other gang members loitering in the street at the time and two of them turned on the security team at The Hood.
Lawrenson, who was in the middle of the fight, said there were two young troublemakers running around trying to start a fight with anyone, and once they were arrested the fights stopped.
There were initially about eight police officers at the scene, who were outnumbered so about 30 of the Lawrenson Group security team members, wearing yellow polo shirts, who were working at his bars - including The Bank, Bar 101 and The Outback - stepped in to help, he said.
The security team at The Hood, wearing black polo shirts, involved in the fight was a separate security team which the Lawrenson Group had enlisted on advice of police. However, Lawrenson said he was terminating their contract as of today.
Hamilton Police operations support manager Henrikson said "pockets of disorder" broke out after the gang member was trespassed and 42 arrests were made throughout the night for offences such as disorderly behaviour, intoxication and fighting.
However, she said there were no serious injuries and overall the city centre was becoming a safer and more enjoyable place to be at night and weekends with overall offending in the CBD dropping by 28 per cent between 2014 and 2016.
Police will be speaking with the people involved in the trespass incident, she said.
Waikato University film and theatre student Eddie Potter was standing outside The Hood when the first fight started.
He turned around to see the barriers used to help people queue being hurled towards the bouncers. He pulled out his phone and started filming when the bouncers retaliated.
"It broke out six times in six different places so the bouncers would one from one place to the next ... Bouncers and police were running to another location where another fight broke out.
"By then (after the second fight) things have dispersed a little bit and newcomers have seen what's going on with civilians and some of the behaviour from the authorities and thought 'stuff you guys, we are not going to take this' and it just became a bit of an 'us and them'."
Potter did not think it was gang related and said the fight happened because of how selective security staff were being about letting people into The Hood. He said there seemed to be no reason some people including himself were not being allowed in, while others were.
"It felt like it was definitely over access to the pub. I think everyone just gets excited because they see a commotion. The poor bouncers were just trying to stop people and that gets mistaken for throwing swings and then everyone starts trying to swing on them. It looked pretty rough."
Potter said there about 1000 people around and between 20 and 400 people involved in the fight. "The guys who had the most mouth, weren't necessarily doing anything but they were getting arrested. Just jump on anyone in that vicinity."
The street was cleared by 3.10am.