Teen boy protects girl in vicious Whakatane fight

A teenage boy is being praised online for trying to shelter his girlfriend from an attack by two other young girls in Whakatane.

Police are looking into video of the fight involving a group of youths in the Whakatane New World car park which has been viewed more than 490,000 times.

Sergeant Thomas Brooks says police have identified those involved.

It is unknown when the fight took place, but the video was posted to Facebook on Wednesday night.

It shows one girl trying to attack another while the teenage boy stands in the way.

The girl manages to push the pair to the ground where she knees the girl dressed in a puffer jacket.

The boy uses his body to shelter the girl and takes many of the blows.

Part-way through the video, a second girl enters the fray as a handful of young people watch on.

The attackers then end their assault and walk away, leaving the boy standing over the victim who is sitting on the ground.

The video has been flooded with comments which range in views, however a number have congratulated the boy for trying to protect the victim.

"Massive shout out to this guy. What an amazing man you are protecting this girl. Getting hit and kicked like it was nothing just to protect another. You are going to go so far in life," one person wrote.

Trident High School has confirmed one of those involved in the fight is one of their students.

Principal Philip Gurney says it happened "long after school in the New World car park, so while some of the students are for Trident, it goes beyond school rules and now becomes a Whakatane community issue".

He says it also raises a discussion about the role of social media in influencing the "reputation of individuals, schools and communities".

Mr Gurney has spoken to police who are investigating the video.

He says the school, staff and its 1200 students are "angered" by the teens' behaviour which has damaged the school's reputation through social media.