Auckland Domain protest: Mayor says council ready to trespass campers

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Auckland Mayor Phil Goff
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff ... "the council has trespass orders and its compliance team ready to go, as soon as police indicate they're ready to enforce those trespass orders." Image: Dan Cook/RNZ

RNZ News

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says council has trespass orders “ready to go” as Auckland Domain remains closed to vehicles due to a small number of anti-covid public health measures protesters refusing to leave.

The small group of protesters set up camp at Auckland Domain after walking over the Harbour Bridge for another protest organised by Freedoms and Rights Coalition at the weekend.

They had promised to move that night, but did not.

Goff told Morning Report everyone had a right to protest, but he hoped this was not a repeat of Wellington’s protest.

“What I absolutely oppose is a sense of entitlement and self-given right to disrupt others’ lives when people want to make their point. We’ve seen that at Parliament, we don’t want to see it in Auckland,” he said.

“People say, ‘Why don’t you talk to the protesters? Why don’t you negotiate with them?’ How do you negotiate with people in bad faith, who agree one thing and then immediately dishonour their promise?

‘They’re not entitled to disrupt lives’
“These are people that we know from a range of other protests around the city … they are not entitled to camp on the domain, they are not entitled to disrupt the lives of others as they are doing.”

Goff said he was in regular discussion with police, right up to the commissioner’s level, and had made his views clear.

“I’ve indicated that the council has trespass orders and its compliance team ready to go, as soon as police indicate they’re ready to enforce those trespass orders and remove the people, and I hope that that will happen,” he said.

“Nobody is above the law, nobody is entitled to believe they can break the law and there are no consequences and that’s what we’re seeing at the moment and I think that’s got to stop.”

Goff said he respected the independence of police on operational issues, but he did not “want to see the same sort of disruption of people’s lives and the tolerance of appalling behaviour that we’ve seen in Wellington”.

Convoy protesters install their own toilets in Wellington
Meanwhile, Wellington City Council engineers have confirmed that the protesters at Parliament have plumbed toilets into the Capital’s sewer system.

A plywood structure next to the portaloos at the intersection of Molesworth and Hill streets has pipes that connect to the sewer.

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster, who has been at the site to take a look, told Morning Report he would be discussing with police as to how the protesters managed to get all the required material onto the site.

He said he had been advised by Wellington Water and people at the site that it was connected to the wastewater system.

“If they were going into the stormwater, that would be completely unacceptable. As I said, it’s unlawful to have put them into the wastewater. [If it was going into] the stormwater, [that] will be a real environmental problem, whereas the wastewater is simply an unlawful connection.”

Discussions with protesters were still ongoing to end the occupation which started earlier this month, he said.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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