An upcoming football tournament in Whangarei will form a platform for the migrant community to learn about the work police and other agencies do and how to access their services.

Whangarei police sergeant Mohammed Atiq is organising the inaugural one-day multi-ethnic football tournament at William Fraser Park on October 22 with a focus on engaging youths into leading meaningful lives.

Up to 10 players can be registered in the six-a-side tournament and at least two players must be from the country their team is named after. Players do not need to reside in Whangarei. Only half of the field will be used and games will take 20 minutes.

"The idea behind this [tournament] is to reach out to the community that we ordinarily have minimum access to and we intend to do other things rather than just football," Mr Atiq said. He said tents from police and Victim Support would be pitched on the sidelines where players, officials and fans could call in and learn about the work those organisations did.


"The other side of the educational programme is to have this football tournament where the ethnic population can take part. Unless they [migrant community] come out, they won't really know what police and other agencies do so this would be a way of engaging them."

Mr Atiq said multi-ethnic football tournaments were being played in 11 other towns and cities throughout the country and winners of every competition would play off at the national finals. Whangarei, he said, had not participated at the national championships but would get a chance after the October tournament.

- Registration forms are available on and entries can be submitted by September 30 on