Auckland police say they anticipate a number of people will face charges for entering the motorway system during protest activity today.
Hundreds of people marched along a section of the motorway between Khyber Pass and Gillies Avenue as part of an anti-government protest organised by the Freedom and Rights Coalition and Convoy 2022.
“While the protestors were walking on the motorway our priority was to actively police their movements to ensure the safety of everyone,” said Auckland Central area commander Graeme Anderson.
“Now the protest has concluded, we will review the actions of those involved with a view to prosecution for being on the motorway.”
In addition to the offence of pedestrians on the motorway, police noted poor driving decisions by motorists including motorcyclists without helmets, children riding in the back of a ute, and at least one pedestrian who put themselves at significant risk by moving into a live traffic lane.
“While the organisers put out a press release the night before, they refused to engage with Auckland Police prior to the protest to provide detail about their intended route and did not divulge this information until the protest began,” Anderson said.
“This was extremely disappointing as it meant our staff and Waka Kotahi had to move quickly to keep all road users in the area safe.
“This was reckless behaviour on the part of the organisers and participants. I don’t know why they would think this was a safe act to undertake, and it had the added consequence of causing disruption to members of the community who were just trying to go about their day.”
Approximately 200 protestors gathered in Christchurch and a similar number in Wellington.
There were no arrests in Christchurch, while one person will be summoned in Wellington for a driving-related matter.