Eleven people have been arrested at today’s Auckland Harbour Bridge protest after a slow convoy of vehicles brought traffic to a standstill and some protestors left their vehicles.
Waitematā district commander Naila Hassan said the arrests were made after multiple protestors failed to adhere to an agreement on how the protest would be conducted.
A police van was also damaged in the protest, she said.
The police had been made aware that a group was planning the protest earlier this week, Hassan said. “We engaged with that group over the last few days, with a view to deterring them from undertaking unlawful activity. We continued to negotiate with that group this morning at Onepoto Domain however they were adamant they wished to march over the bridge.”
Hassan said police succeeded in convincing the group to drive their vehicles over the bridge instead, and that “they would travel at a set speed that would not cause undue risk to themselves and other road users”.
“As they went over the Harbour Bridge, they failed to agree with the conditions we had set and started to undertake unlawful activity,” Hassan said.
“They slowed their vehicles whilst on the Harbour Bridge, brought them to a stop and a number of people jumped out of their vehicles. Thankfully we were prepared for that action and our staff acted very swiftly and professionally.”
Footage live streamed on the Mana News Facebook page showed a number of people being led away by police.
According to social media posts made by participants, the protest was part of a hīkoi to Wellington in opposition to Three Waters reforms.
The bridge fully reopened to traffic around 1pm and Waka Kotahi reported traffic was running smoothly by 2pm.