ZB

Packing up: Anti-mandate protesters leaving central Christchurch

Author
Kurt Bayer, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Mar 2022, 11:54am
Anti-mandate protesters occupying an inner Christchurch park are packing up and leaving. (Photo / NZME)
Anti-mandate protesters occupying an inner Christchurch park are packing up and leaving. (Photo / NZME)

Packing up: Anti-mandate protesters leaving central Christchurch

Author
Kurt Bayer, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Mar 2022, 11:54am

Anti-mandate protesters occupying an inner Christchurch park are packing up and leaving. 

The group has been camping in Cranmer Square since February 14 in breach of Christchurch City Council bylaws. 

Police and council officials told the protesters that they had until Thursday to leave. 
This morning, they were already heading off. 

Two large skips were being filled with rubbish as tents were being taken down and campsites packed up. Piles of sleeping bags and clothes were stacked beside bare patches of grass dying off from the tents. 

There was no police presence when NZME visited this morning. 

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel earlier said they had been working with the protesters, who have indicated they were willing to leave peacefully. 

A council spokeswoman yesterday said staff, supported by police, visited the square on Tuesday morning to provide the protesters with written information about the need to remove the structures erected on the park. 

"The group responded positively about their willingness to take down the structures by their publicly stated timeframe of Wednesday evening." 

The council had engaged with the protesters and provided them with a copy of the Parks and Reserves Bylaw 2016. 

Cranmer Square is considered a reserve, and under section 11 of the bylaw no one can camp in a reserve. 

A number of the protesters spoken to since they set up said they were there in support of the Wellington protest, initially saying they would not leave until the vaccine mandates were dropped.