In a moment of déjà vu, police have started to prepare for a large protest expected to converge on parliament tomorrow.
Photos shared to Twitter by journalists like TVNZ’s Jessica Mutch-McKay show large stone bollards being placed around the entrances of the parliament grounds, while areas where senior politicians may be visible have been blacked out.
The last time these moves were taken by police, the protesters had already embedded themselves into the surrounding area. It took over three weeks for them to be moved out.
In a statement, Wellington district commander superintendent Corrie Parnell said road closures and parking restrictions were being implemented around the parliamentary precinct.
“A traffic management plan is in place to restrict unauthorised vehicle movement and parking around parliament from Sunday evening until the conclusion of the protest,” he said. “Road closures will be in place at the parliament end of Lambton Quay, lower Molesworth Street, and Kate Sheppard Place.”
Parnell said while he acknowledged the right to protest, Police would be taking action against unlawful behaviour. “We note that other similar protests, particularly in Auckland, while disruptive to traffic for a short time, did see protesters disperse at the conclusion, with the road quickly returned to normal traffic flows,” he said.
“Our expectation of these protesters is that their protest will remain lawful at all times.”
The protest, which intends to become an occupation once again, is being led by the Brian Tamaki-founded Freedom Rights Coalition. It’s expected to attract attention from other anti-government groups and personalities.