Up to 200 people were involved in a brawl between Tongan and Samoan league fans - featuring weapons including a machete, pole and sticks - that led to six arrests.

Tensions again flared between Tongan and Samoan fans last night after a young fan was seen burning a Samoan flag.

The burning triggered a crowd of stick-and-pole welding fans to fight each other in a carpark at Otara Mall.

Six people were arrested for disorderly behaviour and possession of offensive weapons, including a machete, in the South Auckland suburb, police said.


Community leaders' pleas for peace are being ignored as fresh outbreaks of violence have become a daily occurrence in the lead-up to the Tonga v Samoa Rugby League World Cup clash in Hamilton on Saturday.

A police spokeswoman said the group were allegedly armed with poles and sticks and were part of a crowd of between 150 and 200 people on Thursday night.

The arrests follow several days of violence in the lead-up to a crucial Rugby League World Cup game in Hamilton between Samoa and Tonga.

Video has circulated online of a mass street brawl in nearby Otahuhu, and there have also been reports of violence in Otara.

Tongan Advisory Board Chair Malino Mako and Manukau Ward Councillor Efeso Collins, from Samoa, appeared on The AM Show today pleading with supporters to behave.

"I just think this is excitement gone overboard and it's encouraging our young people especially to learn how to channel this," Collins said.

"This is young people trying to manage their impulses and when you get so excited it boils over."

Mako said rivalry was not a bad thing - but it had to be kept "in the spirit of the game".


"We need to let the rivalry be on the field.

"At the moment there are a few people who are tainting that respect. We don't need that.

Mako said the brawls mainly involve young people, "but it's also middle-aged".