12 Feb 2022

Covid-19 protesters persist at Parliament for fifth day

7:13 pm on 12 February 2022

The protest against the government's Covid-19 restrictions has persisted at Parliament today, despite a heavy downpour of rain.

Music played by protesters and through the Parliamentary speakers competed on Saturday night.

There is a battle of the speakers going on with music and Covid adverts being blasted from the parliamentary speakers and protesters responding with their own music. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

More people joined the crowd today, taking numbers up to about 1000.

Now under a sea of tents and umbrellas, the parliament lawn is beginning to resemble a monsoon-sodden marketplace.

A battle of the music speakers has started up at Parliament this evening as Speaker Trevor Mallard plays the likes of Barry Manilow and the Macarena through speakers inside Parliament buildings. He has also been playing Covid-19 vaccination advertisements.

Mallard said the 15-minute loop of music and Covid-19 ads will be on repeat and possibly play through the night.

Most of the protestors greeted the tunes with boos and played back We're Not Going to Take It by Twisted Sister on their own speakers.

This afternoon, one person was taken to Wellington Hospital in a moderate condition, after about 20 police officers and at least one medic were seen carrying a person on a stretcher through the crowd.

Meanwhile, Metlink has stopped all buses from going to its Lambton Interchange until further notice because of the protest.

Earlier today Superintendent Scott Fraser said the police will continue to have a significant presence at Parliament grounds and are exploring options to resolve the disruption.

Fraser said a protester within the grounds needed medical attention yesterday evening, but this was delayed because an ambulance was unable to drive directly to him due to the protesters' vehicles blocking the surrounding roads.

Molesworth Street remains blocked by more than 100 vehicles including large trucks, campervans and cars.

Fraser said ambulance staff had to walk "some distance" to get to the man, who was waiting with officers.

"Despite the very difficult environment, our staff, and our Wellington Free Ambulance colleagues, acted with empathy and professionalism, ensuring this man got the medical treatment he needed."

Former National Party MP Matt King spoke to protesters outside Parliament late this afternoon.

He said he resigned from the National Party last night and if the government ended mandates they would have the protest cleared within a day.

The National Party says it does not support the actions or anti-vaccination messages of the protesters.

See how day five of the protest unfolded with RNZ's live blog:

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