Authorities are appealing for calm following a running brawl in Auckland yesterday between rival groups of Samoan and Tongan rugby league fans.
Pacific Ministers Aupito William Sio and Jenny Salesa are urging Pacific communities to celebrate the pedigree of sporting talent, Toa Samoa and Mate Ma'a Tonga will showcase on Saturday.
“We should be celebrating our league prowess not throwing punches," says Aupito.
“I will be attending the game and expect everyone to be there supporting our favourite teams in the spirit that we are one people of the Pacific irrespective of whether we are fans of the Tongan or Samoan teams.”
Mate Ma'a Tonga Fan Day in South Auckland. Photo/ PRN.
Mate Ma'a Tonga have also taken to social media to address the fans, asking the fans to be safe.
"We're all from the islands, please keep the peace," says Captain Sika Manu.
Mate Ma'a Tonga urging fans to keep the peace. Photo/ Instagram.
New Zealand Tansport Agency is encouraging motorists to plan ahead and allow plenty of time for their journeys, ahead of a big weekend of events south of Auckland and the Waikato.
Extra traffic is expected on the Waikato Expressway between Hamilton and Auckland as people travel to the Rugby League World Cup in Hamilton, the Tough Mudda competition at Hampton Downs and the V8s at Pukekohe.
Manager of the Auckland Transport Operation Centre, Rua Pani, says people should avoid travelling during the busiest periods and keep an eye on real time travel information.