Northland man charged in relation to mass protest on Super Saturday

Author
Northern Advocate,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Oct 2021, 4:37PM
More than 1000 people turned out to the FreedomNZ protest at Kensington Park in Whangārei on Saturday. (Photo / Michael Cunningham)
More than 1000 people turned out to the FreedomNZ protest at Kensington Park in Whangārei on Saturday. (Photo / Michael Cunningham)

Northland man charged in relation to mass protest on Super Saturday

Author
Northern Advocate,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Oct 2021, 4:37PM

Northland police have charged a man allegedly behind Whangārei's mass gathering over the weekend - organised to express concern with "state of the nation".

Authorities said a 47-year-old man has been summoned to appear in the Whangārei District Court on October 25 in relation to the protest at Kensington Park on Saturday.

More than 1000 people took part in the peaceful demonstration led by Destiny's Man Up movement and in breach of level 3 restrictions.

It was the biggest protest in the country after Auckland where an estimated 2000 people gathered at the Domain.

Further north in Kaitaia, another NZ Freedom NZ protest saw hundreds of people gathered at Te Ahu before marching and driving up Commerce St.

Police were unable to comment further given the matters are before the court.

The Northland man was one of four people charged in relation to organising and attending mass gatherings in the upper North Island while the country's health boards and Māori health providers urged Kiwis to get jabbed as part of a nationwide Super Saturday initiative.

Auckland police have charged a man thought to be Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki after the huge public gathering in the Auckland Domain despite level 3 restrictions.

A police spokesman said that a 63-year-old man has been charged with failing to comply with an order (Covid-19) under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act and Alert Level 3 Order and is also appearing before the court for breach bail conditions.

Police confirmed the man has been taken into custody and is due to appear in court today via an audiovisual link.

Tamaki first appeared in court last week charged with heading a similar protest. On Tuesday he claimed no charges would be laid for breaching his bail conditions after he attended Saturday's event.

He reportedly addressed the crowd at the gathering but said dismissed claims he was one of the organisers.

The bail conditions set for Tamaki prevent him from organising or any protests in breach of any Covid-19 level requirement.

In the Waikato, two men have been charged in relation to a mass gathering at Claudelands Park in Hamilton on October 16 that also breached alert level 3 restrictions.

A 56-year-old man has been charged with organising a mass gathering and failing to comply and is due to appear on November 16.

A 46-year-old man has been charged with failing to comply and is due to appear on November 17.

A police spokesman said: "enforcement action will be strongly considered for instances such as these which are in breach of the restrictions."