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40-man brawl rocks Kuripuni

Kuripuni Sports Bar. PHOTO/ARTHUR HAWKES

Brawlers to be banned

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A huge brawl erupted at Kuripuni Sports Bar as last Saturday night spilled into Sunday, the Times-Age has learned.

There were reports of up to 40 people physically involved in the fray.

Police received several calls and arrived at 12.42am to some hostile crowd members, and at least 20 people still engaged in a flurry of fists, kicks, and elbows – with multiple fights breaking out all over the bar.

It was reported that rugby players from several Wairarapa clubs had converged on the bar, but it was initially unclear the degree to which each were involved in the fight.

Jen Hansen, Senior Sergeant with Wairarapa Police, described the violence that officers attended to.

“It appears it may have involved two rugby teams initially, and then it’s just grown from there,” Hansen said.

“It appears that the initial event has then split off into multiple differing events, with multiple fights taking place.

“There was a fair amount of hostility towards police and others wanting to help, but the bar was closed and the crowd dispersed.

“Police observed some minor injuries, but nothing serious was observed.”

It was understood that no arrests were made at the time, and the ambulance service was not required to attend.

Hansen said the brawl was “under investigation”.

Charles Kaka, CEO of Trust House Limited [which owns Kuripuni Sports Bar], condemned the violence in strong terms, and said that those identified in the investigation would be banned from future entry.

“I understand the police have spoken to staff and have requested we make available the bar CCTV footage,” Kaka said.

“They are still investigating and I assume trying to identify those involved.

“From a THL perspective, and a personal one, violence of any kind is not okay – THL will take appropriate action to prevent individuals identified through the police investigation from entering any of our bars.”

Jason Carruthers, chairman of Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union, said the union would be waiting for more information before any action was taken.

“I am aware there was an incident on Saturday night. We, as a union, are not taking any steps at this stage and will be waiting for further advice and information from any clubs or respective parties involved.”

Tana Isaac, secretary of Greytown Rugby Club, said that some Greytown players were present but not involved in the fighting.

“From what I understand a few of our players were present at the bar, and one of our senior players helped to break up the fight.”

Isaac said that “none of our players were doing the fighting”.

Other clubs contacted by the Times-Age had not responded at the time of publication.



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