A man videoed burning a Tongan flag after the Rugby League World Cup match against the Kiwis has issued a public apology labelling it a "drunken mistake".

The man is seen in the short video lighting the flag before it catches fire.

However, today he had reflected on his actions and asked the Herald to print his public apology for any offence that he had caused.

"To the people of New Zealand and Tonga, I sincerely apologise for my actions that took place regarding the video posted on social media on Saturday 11/11/17. In no way did I intend for this to take place, as it was a drunken mistake that has great remorse by myself and those involved.


"I apologise for the way this has offended everyone especially the people of Tonga, and there is no excuse for the actions that I have taken.

"I was unaware that this moment had been recorded and had no ill intentions, following this I have since tried to have this removed off the pages that it has been posted on, and hope this public apology will help with doing so."

Pacific Peoples Associate Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the flag-burning was highly offensive.

"Burning a nation's flag is never acceptable. It's disrespectful.

"We need to be clear that the behaviour of a small number of people will not overshadow the success of the Tongan team, and remember that the vast majority of people celebrated positively and happily.

"I've been really pleased to see an amazing sense of camaraderie in the past few days, with all Pacific Peoples and Kiwis getting behind the Tongan team.

"That's who we are as a group of nations, let's focus on that and not on people trying to drag others down to their level."