Police respond to Polyfest brawling videos

By Online News
  • Auckland

Videos have surfaced on Facebook showing a number of fights at the recent ASB Polyfest event in South Auckland.

The videos have receive traction online, receiving well over 500,000 views and accumulating 4.5k shares between them.

The release of the footage has resulted in many people voicing their concerns about violence at a family oriented cultural event.

Despite the negative attention Polyfest has recently received, police are adamant that those in attendance demonstrated good behaviour, only having to make 2 arrests during the event. Those arrests however were not related to the event itself.

Inspector Tracy Phillips of Counties Manukau Police says, It is incredibly disappointing to see the videos being posted online which reflects the behaviour of just a small number of the 90,000 people who attended.

Polyfest is a great family event and chance to celebrate the diversity across Auckland and New Zealand.

Police were called to two incidents outside of the festival where there were reports of fighting. One was on Saturday at approximately 4pm outside Westfield Mall. Police attended however the crowd quickly dispersed.

The second incident was at the intersection of Te Irirangi Drive and Great South Road also on Saturday afternoon at approximately 5pm.

Police were immediately deployed however those involved had left prior to the units’ arrival” 

ASB Polyfest Event Director, Theresa Howard says, "The incident that was recorded in the festival was not reflective of the peaceful nature of this year’s festival."

Howard went on to say that measures are already in place to prevent violence at the event, "We have an array of security measures in places from a large security team at the festival, Maori wardens, community leaders and a strong police presence.

Our security team are on the microphones at the festival entry explaining that the festival is drug, alcohol and smoke-free and hundreds of security peoples inside the festival gates.

A key objective is that the festival is safe and secure for students and patrons and we continue to strive to achieve this objective. 

In light of the brawls, Howard says, "We are de-briefing with security and police re security and whether any additional support is required going forward."