Extra police have been called on to monitor Tauranga City after reports a planned mass brawl titled Battle of the Hoods could relocate from Hamilton to Bayfair Shopping Centre.
The threat of relocation has prompted a warning from the district’s top police officer for people to reconsider any trip to Tauranga City this afternoon.
Earlier today, Hamilton parents and students were warned about the fight, in which weapons are allowed, according to a badly spelled poster for a “battle of the hoods”.
Hamilton schools were on high alert because of the potential safety risk.
According to the poster which has been circulated widely on social media, it would start at the Hamilton Bus Depot and continue “all around town”.
“Stab for stab,” the poster also reads.
However, the fight is understood to have relocated across the Kaimai Range to Tauranga.
Western Bay of Plenty area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said his team had been given information the fight had been relocated to Tauranga, most likely at the Bayfair Shopping Centre in Mount Maunganui this afternoon.
“Like with anything, it’s hard to ascertain the veracity of that information but there has been some concerns from different members of the community about this.”
Paxton said it was unclear whether anything would eventuate but the local police were taking the information seriously.
“We are organising additional staff around Bayfair and other parts of the city this afternoon. The deployment will be throughout the city, while Bayfair is an obvious focus.
“We are taking extra steps to ensure the safety of our community but if you don’t have to go to the likes of Bayfair tonight, postpone it for another time.”
Paxton said police were also mindful the brawl may not be exclusive to Bayfair and “could be in other parts of the city as well”.
It’s understood the brawl will take place between 2.30pm and 4.30pm and Paxton said the information police received was “in that ballpark”.
“There’s been some suggestion this afternoon there are some concerns around youth in our city.”
Bayfair Shopping Centre manager Steve Ellingford said he understood police were focused on a bus stop outside the mall.