27 Jan 2012

Protesters gather at central Auckland site

2:25 pm on 27 January 2012

About half a dozen Occupy protesters have returned to a central Auckland square but had not set up camp on Friday.

Police and security staff on Thursday evicted protesters and cleared all their camping equipment from Aotea Square, arresting about 20 people in the process.

Council contractors are working to restore the grass, which is cordoned-off to the public.

The protesters were standing on the outskirts of the area on Friday but said they planned to get over the fence at some stage.

Meanwhile, several homeless people have taken issue with the Occupy protesters, for ruining what they say is their home.

Several spoken to by Radio New Zealand say they can't stay in any of the parks around the city now.

Mount Roskill resident J. D. Simon says he has taken in 13 homeless people, many of whom are now camping on his lawn.

Police boss hopes badge allegations unfounded

The Police Commissioner says that if three constables wore identical badge numbers as they helped evict protesters, they acted stupidly.

Each officer should have a unique number, which identifies them.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on Monday as officers assisted security guards in clearing protesters from the square.

On his blog, Police Commissioner Peter Marshall says he hopes the allegations are not true, and compares the incident to a team scoring an own goal.

Mr Marshall says an employment hearing will determine what actually happened.