A Rotorua man has uploaded videos of city youths fighting on YouTube, and now a Rotorua principal wants people who share them to face criminal charges.
Two separate videos of Rotorua youths fighting - including a fight involving two Rotorua Boys' High School students and another involving two people named Raz and Kane fighting in daylight along Vaughan Rd - have been uploaded to the popular video sharing website in the past month.
Both videos show youths fighting, kicking and punching each other. In both videos people can be heard in the background encouraging the fight, and in the Vaughan Rd video, cars can be seen driving past while the youths brawl on the street.
Hundreds have viewed the videos over the last few weeks.
Both videos were uploaded by Rotorua's Rahiri Mason under his YouTube account name, MaoriWarrior01. When The Daily Post contacted the 28-year-old, he said the videos were sent to him by a family member who "just asked me to chuck it online".
YouTube relies on users to flag clips as inappropriate before it checks, and potentially removes them. Minutes after The Daily Post spoke to Mr Mason, he removed the video featuring the school students from the website. A total of 255 people had already viewed the video titled RBHS Fight 2010 since it was uploaded on March 14.
The Daily Post was unable to contact anyone from Rotorua Boys' High School for comment, but Secondary Schools Association president and John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said not only those involved in the fight should be held accountable, but also the people taking the videos and those uploading them for the public to see should be dealt with.
Mr Walsh said fighting videos had surfaced involving students from schools around New Zealand.
He said once principals got hold of the footage and could identify those involved, those students would be facing exclusion or expulsion for "gross misconduct".
Mr Walsh said not only should the students involved be held accountable but those who filmed the incident and those who posted the footage online should be, too.
"People who set up fights or tape students who are victims of assaults should be held accountable," he said. "Those responsible should be charged and brought before the courts."
Rotorua police area commander Inspector Bruce Horne said although videos like this were often posted as fights, they were sometimes pre-planned assaults.
"In such cases the video footage can provide useful evidence to support a prosecution for assault. Assault is a crime and any complaint laid with the police about such an incident will be investigated," he said.
"However, police do not receive many complaints about incidents of this type."
Mr Horne said incidents involving school students were normally dealt with by school staff.
"However some schools do seek police advice on this sort of offending, and we welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with local schools, particularly on issues of this sort."
He said police were keen to hear from schools or parents if they found this sort of activity, because it was often part of a wider youth offending issue that police staff dealt with.