Billy Te Kahika employed his personal, personal safety for his protest. Picture / Jason Partitions
Police have been referred to as in to observe a so-called “freedom rally” exterior Parliament this afternoon, led by controversial political determine Billy Te Kahika.
Te Kahika additionally employed his personal, personal safety for the occasion.
There are roughly 50 protestors, outnumbered by individuals having lunch on Parliament’s garden.
After a number of speeches, the battery on the microphone they have been utilizing ran out of juice so that they needed to crowd-source a megaphone.
The rally was deliberate to converge on Parliament grounds at 1pm however protesters started to assemble a lot earlier, with individuals armed with Donald Trump flags and ‘QAnon’ T-shirts.
One of many protesters spoken to by the Herald mentioned she “beloved Trump” and the rally was about plenty of points, together with 1080, “freedom” and the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Parliament’s safety is out in numbers and there’s a police presence on the bottom.
A police spokesperson mentioned that they had been made conscious of a rally deliberate on the Beehive, and have been in touch with the protest organiser.
“Police’s function is to make sure security and uphold the legislation, whereas recognising the lawful proper to protest.”
The rally earlier got here underneath fireplace from Māori council chair Matthew Tukaki.
“It is alt-right, it is pro-Trump, this has obtained nothing to do with freedom.”
The Herald has sought remark from Te Kahika.
Tukaki mentioned the rally organisers have been pushing conspiracies about Covid-19, corresponding to that New Zealand was about to enter a stage 4 lockdown.
“New Zealand is the standout nation around the globe proper now, we now have freedom of motion within the face of a world pandemic, we’re capable of transfer freely throughout our nation.
“You continue to get to go to a tangi and a funeral, you continue to get to go see your moko that has simply been born within the hospital. You continue to get to go rejoice that seventieth birthday.
“So what actual freedoms are they speaking about?”
Posters for the rally urged supporters to deliver their placards.
“Unite and stand in opposition to the dangerous, pointless and illegal lockdowns,” the poster, shared by Te Kahika on Fb mentioned.
Tukaki mentioned New Zealand had components of the identical issues as the USA, however Kiwis have been “extra sensible”. The US Capitol constructing was stormed in Washington final week.
“A few of our group do really feel disaffected, disenfranchised and disconnected however not on the size as the USA,” he mentioned.
“We will work on that right here and I strongly consider we have got a chance to actually stability the equation and create fairness.”
Tukaki anticipated hundreds may present up on the rally in Wellington.
A police spokesperson mentioned they might recognise the lawful proper to protest, whereas guaranteeing security and upholding the legislation. They might be prepared to answer any points ought to they come up.