ZB

Parliament security increased before possible second protest in Wellington

Author
Sophie Trigger, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 31 Mar 2022, 1:22pm
Parliament security has been increased ahead of potential planned protest activity tomorrow. (Photo / Mike Scott)
Parliament security has been increased ahead of potential planned protest activity tomorrow. (Photo / Mike Scott)

Parliament security increased before possible second protest in Wellington

Author
Sophie Trigger, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 31 Mar 2022, 1:22pm

Parliament has increased security measures in preparation for a possible second protest in Wellington tomorrow. 

Police confirmed yesterday they were aware of planned protest action outside Parliament from 9am. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was not entirely clear what the protesters' motivation was. 

"I see the same reporting and information as others. The police, of course, will be no doubt be looking at what needs to be done in advance to ensure that we don't have a repeat of what we saw previously with the disruption to Wellingtonians." 

A 23-day anti-vaccine mandate occupation was brought to an end earlier this month. The lawns of Parliament were set alight and more than 100 protesters arrested. 

An email sent to Parliamentary staff this morning said no protesters were allowed on the grounds while remedial work continued, and the grounds would be fenced off today. 

The number of security personnel had increased since the occupation, and Parliamentary security was working with police on what extra measures were necessary. 

Parliamentary staff have been asked to work from home if possible. 

Parliament's chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero says the recent hostility means measures are in place to ensure the safety of those on the precinct. 

He says the recent occupation is still fresh on the minds of staff. 

A website entitled "Unite" indicates it is planning 14 days of protest action in the capital, beginning at 9am tomorrow. 

Organisers said they would provide details closer to the start date "to minimise the chance of interference". 

A police spokesperson said yesterday they were aware of the online talk. 

"Wellington District staff are working to determine the credibility of the information and plan for any possible gatherings or activity. 

"Any behaviour that is deemed unlawful or disrupts people from going about their lawful business will not be tolerated."