‘Overturned car’ decked out with Tongan flag spotted; More arrests following Tonga victory

An overturned car spotted at Southern Motorway last night was decked out with Tongan flags.

The incident was reported after thousands of Tongan rowdy supporters returned to Auckland after their Mate Ma’a Tonga team beat rivals Toa Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup match at Waikato Stadium.

Kitekei’aho Tu’akalau, Chief Editor of Good Morning Tonga Radio programme, took a photo of the incident near Takanini.

He said ambulances and Police were at the scene when they drove pass.

Tu’akalau said vehicles which appeared to have been occupied by Tongan die hard fans who were returning from the match were in a rush-hour mode.

He said the exultant fans could be seen waving flags, yelling at others’ vehicles while some sat outside their car windows as they were driving down the 100 speed-limit motorway.

“That’s crazy and dangerous man,” he said.

The details of the accident have yet to be officially released.

Police said last night they were pleased with the behaviour of the vast majority of fans during the Rugby League World Cup match.

Waikato District RLWC Operations Commander Inspector Karen Henrikson said the boisterous and vocal crowd created a great atmosphere and there were few incidents of concern to Police.

“It was a really good crowd, with plenty of singing and plenty of colour.”


Reports this morning said Police made 29 arrests in South Auckland last night after the match.

Lat night Police said they made four arrests during the match.

Three of these were for pitch invasions – one for a person who was arrested before they could get onto the playing surface and two who went onto the ground after the final whistle.

“Under the Major Events Management Act, going onto the playing surface at Rugby League World Cup matches is an offence punishable by a fine of up to $5000 or imprisonment for up to three months,” said Inspector Henrikson.

A fourth person was arrested for detoxification and 20 people were evicted from the venue by Police and/or security for intoxication or bringing in prohibited items.

Police were also called to an assault on a security guard outside the stadium.

The victim was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution, but not seriously injured.

Police are making inquiries to identify the attacker.

In South Auckland

NZ Herald reports this morning Sunday 5 said Police arrested 29 in South Auckland after the game.

“About 3000 Tonga supporters gathered on Atkinson Ave in South Auckland to celebrate the 32-18 win at the Hamilton game – with some failing to heed repeated calls from community leaders and police for good behaviour.

“A police spokeswoman said Counties Manukau police arrested 29 people in relation to the celebrations.

“Video footage taken at the scene shows police appearing to confiscate items including a massive length of wood and a long white pole.

Some shop signage was damaged but overall the night did not get too out of hand,” a Herald photographer said.

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