A South Auckland leader is calling on those involved in Friday's Mission Bay brawl to take responsibility for their actions, and says their schools also share some of the blame.
It comes as a school principal hit backs at suggestions her students were involved in the incident, which involved up to 100 students from several Auckland schools.
There are fears it could the first of many fights being planned between young people from different parts of the city, as rivalries heat up between "east side" and "west side" schools.
Manukau ward councillor Alf Filipaina said the students and schools involved need to front up and learn from their actions, and make sure there aren't further fights.
"It's just a select few who choose to end up going to a place and congregate. The call goes out on social media, they start drinking, and low and behold we have a brawl," he said.
"They shouldn't be drinking if they're actually on study break. The schools actually should have some responsibility as well."
The principal of Ōtara's Tangaroa College, Davida Suasua, has denied any of her students were involved in the fight or organised it.
"None of our students were there. I am definitely sure," she said.
The Herald has also sought comment from the principals of Ōtāhuhu College, Kelston Boys High School and Māngere's De La Salle College on whether their students were involved.
Filipaina's fellow Manukau ward councillor Efeso Collins, who has worked in the education sector, said teachers and social workers he'd been talking to were deeply disappointed with what happened.
"I wonder if they have become a little cynical of the world. Like with youth gangs, a lot turn to them when they feel rejected from society.
"Our young people need have someone they can talk to if they need and to feel part of the community, so then they look after it. They should be able to go anywhere in Auckland and feel at home."
But Filipaina said there was no excuse for what happened on Friday, and young people ultimately needed to accept responsibility for their actions.
"I don't think it's about finding other things for our young people to do. There are lots of things out there to do, whether it be at the rec centres or the libraries.
"Our young students chose to end up going out there, and for one reason or another ended up drinking."
Witnesses reported about 40 police officers descended on the scene to break up the fight around 3.30pm.
Eight youths were eventually arrested, one for assault. One person was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
They were all released without charge and will be dealt with by Police Youth Aid.
- Additional reporting by Chelsea Boyle