28 Sep 2023

Police report no issues at Parliament protest

3:56 pm on 28 September 2023
Protesters advertising the Freedoms NZ party march.

Protesters advertising the Freedoms NZ party march toward Parliament Thursday. Photo: RNZ

Hundreds of people marched through Wellington to Parliament today to protest a wide variety of issues, but police reported no problems from marchers and roads are now reopening.

The protest was organised by groups including the Freedom and Rights Coalition, Stop Co-Governance and Convoy Coalition are protesting over claims about the UN's "Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

Speakers at the event frequently attacked the transgender rights movement and made claims about sexual education in schools.

Police were on high alert after the event, which brought memories of the 23-day occupation of Parliament in 2022 which ended after police removed protesters.

However, police reported no issues following today's protest and roads around Parliament will be reopened this afternoon.

"Approximately 100 staff were on duty for the protest and march, which was uneventful," Acting Superintendent Wade Jennings, Relieving Wellington District Commander said in a statement.

A protester at Civic Square.

A protester at Civic Square. Photo: RNZ

Police said they estimated 2000 people marched from Civic Square to Parliament after gathering around 10am.

"We are pleased that our message to protesters seems to have been heeded. The ability to protest peacefully is an important part of being a democratic community - but key for us, is this activity remains peaceful," Jennings said.

"With protesters largely gone from the area, we are now keen to reopen the roads, and restore people's ability to travel through the area.

"Reopening the roads earlier than planned is important for our local community and businesses who have been disrupted the most by this activity."

Hannah Tamaki, Brian Tamaki and Sue Grey march.

Hannah Tamaki, Brian Tamaki and Sue Grey march. Photo: RNZ

Several political speeches by Brian Tamaki and Sue Grey from the Freedoms New Zealand party were made at the event, which at times resembled a campaign rally for the party with Tamaki asking for votes and the party's candidates being introduced from the Parliament forecout.

The Tamakis and Grey marched at the head of the procession to Parliament. The march was met by a small group of counter protesters from Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition.

Police said they would have a presence around Parliament through the evening and are engaging with groups planning a similar protest Saturday.

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