22 May 2024

Footage captures moment Liz Gunn and cameraman arrested at Auckland Airport

9:25 am on 22 May 2024

First published on NZ Herald

By George Block, NZ Herald

Video footage has emerged of anti-vaccination campaigner Liz Gunn's dramatic arrest at the Auckland International Airport last year.

It comes after a Judge yesterday found Gunn guilty of assault following an eventful trial of the former TVNZ host.

Gunn and her cameraman Jonathan Clark were at the international arrivals terminal on February 25 last year to film the arrival of a family who had been kept in lockdown in Tokelau after refusing the Covid-19 vaccine.

Footage shows the moment two police officers approach the pair and proceed to arrest them in the middle of the busy terminal.

One of the officers appears to attempt a headlock on Gunn before she falls on the ground, while the other officer is seen taking Clark to the ground before handcuffing him. The pair are then led away by the two officers.

Judge Haney Forrest yesterday found Gunn and Clark not guilty of resisting police.

Liz Gunn found guilty of assault

A packed public gallery of supporters at the Manukau District Court applauded when the not guilty verdicts were read on Tuesday.

They expressed dismay when the guilty verdict was returned, yelling "shame" and "disgusting" as the Judge retired.

Gunn and her lawyer Matthew Hague had claimed she had merely touched the arm of the security worker to gain her attention, a defence rejected by Judge Forrest.

In a written judgment released after the hearing, Judge Forrest described it as a "hostile act".

"In summary, Ms Gunn was arrogant, rude, overbearing and offensive in her manner in dealing with the complainant," the judgment said.

Judge Forrest rejected Hague's defence that Gunn had implied consent to touch Auckland Airport security worker Anna Kolodeznaya on the arm.

"To the contrary, she acted with complete and total disregard for social norms and for Ms Kolodeznaya."

Hague indicated he intended to seek a discharge without conviction at sentencing. Common assault in the Summary Offences Act carries a maximum term of imprisonment of six months or a fine of up to $4000.

Gunn declined to comment to media outside court. Clark described the verdict as "deeply unjust".

He reiterated the defence position that Gunn had merely tapped the Auckland Airport security worker on the arm, rather than forcefully grabbing her as the prosecution alleged.

Gunn was charged with assault, resisting arrest and wilful trespass following the fracas at Auckland Airport's international arrivals terminal.

Clark was charged only with resisting arrest and wilful trespass.

The pair defended the charges during a colourful judge-alone trial held over two days earlier this month.

During the trial, Judge Forrest dismissed the charge of wilful trespass against the pair.

- NZ Herald