Waatea News: Based on media reporting of League violence, we don’t like Pacific Islanders much do we?

By   /   November 14, 2017  /   7 Comments

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Since when did we dislike Pacific Islanders so much? I don’t know about you, but this weird myopic media focus on Pacific Island ‘violence’ after the League games currently playing up and down the country seems bewilderingly racist and vicious doesn’t it?

Since when did we dislike Pacific Islanders so much? I don’t know about you, but this weird myopic media focus on Pacific Island ‘violence’ after the League games currently playing up and down the country seems bewilderingly racist and vicious doesn’t it?

Look at the headlines, ‘Missiles thrown at Police, 53 arrests‘. ‘Tongan rugby league fans cause problems in Otahuhu‘, ‘Fresh violence erupts between Samoan and Tongan League Fans‘, ‘More street battles between Tongan and Samoan league fans‘, ‘Six arrests in Otara brawl involving 200 people‘.

What the hell is happening? Has a civil war erupted? Do we have simmering racial tensions threatening to unleash sectarian violence upon the sporting stadiums of Aotearoa?

Or has the lazy media picked up on a couple of silly skirmishes that were uploaded onto social media and allowed a heavy handed Police response to legitimise arresting dozens and dozens of Pacific Islanders celebrating a really positive working class sporting spectacle ?

I’m asking this question because when you cast your mind back to the All Black win in 2015, the media reaction to 200 Dunedin students who went on a drunken rampage after the win and started 13 seperate fires was remarkably different in tone to the one the media are using with Pacific Islanders.

From what I saw of the League, you had incredibly excited Samoans and Tongans showing enormous pride and joy in their teams.

Was there some push and shove? Sure.

Did some fans get a tad exuberant? Sure.

Did that justify the race baiting headlines? Well, I’m not so sure about that.

When you compare those headlines to ‘Dunedin students celebrate Rugby World Cup win by torching couches‘ and ‘Rugby World Cup final: Students celebrate with couch fires‘, it starts to look like there was an enormous difference in the way the media looks at this.

It seems that when it’s white, middle class, uni students drunkenly setting fire to furniture and rampaging, the rioting gets described as ‘fun’ and ‘celebratory’ with zero arrests.

When it’s brown people partying, it’s suddenly a race war that demands heavy handed policing.


First published on Waatea News

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  1. Tiger Mountain says:

    just what I thought when I heard the news reports-if this had been Rugby boofheads, Americas Cup crowds or any unruly bunch of predominately white celebrators, the cop and media reaction would have been very different

    Tongans and other Polynesians are so marginalised and put down by most other cultures in NZ, that one can easily understand why they might want to express themselves over such a point of pride, don’t forget NZ Rugby and other sports usually get their way and force Polynesian sportspeople to play for New Zealand, they don’t like it one bit when the ‘boot ‘ is on the other foot…

    -Pom rugby yobbos made revolting sexual comments to young female gymnastics performers in Kingsland Auckland during the recent tour and very little was said about that in the media, I think only the Spinoff covered it

  2. Castro says:

    Indeed. Our illegitimate ruling elite puppets sure love colonists from the planet’s largest dictatorship, though. Hmm…

  3. ra says:

    I understand where you’re coming from and agree absolutely about different standards of reportage and police response.
    However as a mangere resident the negative reporting has had a beneficial effect I think.
    After the Scotland game no one in the neighbourhood got any sleep for three four days from the constant yahoo’s and horn beeping at all hours of the day and night. I live on a main road and we had convoys of tongan supporters beeping yelling and screaming as they passed each other at all hours.
    After the Samoa game the same thing for that night but a noticeable tapering off on the following days.
    After the kiwi game raucous until around 12/1am and no all hours beeping yelling in the days afterward.
    I think tongan elders had words to their flocks about their inconsiderate behavior (and it was, you have no idea about the constant racket) as a result of the negative publicity.
    So if public shaming results in civil behavior isn’t that a good thing?
    And again I absolutely agree upon disparate standards of reportage and police response but isn’t it the function of the press to illuminate, inform the public of whats happening in the public realm therefore reporting upon the actions of tongans and samoans is race baiting? not just reporting upon the actions of tongans and samosa?

  4. garbaldi says:

    I think there is an element of escapism from their repressive over- religious backgrounds followed by their exposure to alcohol etc

    • J S Bark J S Bark says:

      What, like white anglo-saxon protestants or old country papists?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Garbaldi. One of “Them” here. Maybe our excitement is because our Tier 2 Team for the first time beat a Tier one Team? The fact that our players only get paid $30/day whereas The Kiwis get thousands for playing and yet Tonga was still able to beat them. There is a Tongan emotion- we call it “Mafana” which literally translates to “warmness” which is the way Tongans can get really excited by something special- you see it at birthday and weddings- people celebrate dramatically WITHOUT any alcohol involved. And for someone from ” a repressive over religious background” I have still managed to travel to over 20 countries,I have a university education and I serve my community in various ways while so actually if there is anything I feel like escaping from its arrogant ignorant remarks like yours.