Blessing outside of parliament following the death of the protester who set himself on fire

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

A blessing took place outside Parliament this morning, following an incident where a protester set himself alight and later died in hospital. A Parliament senior Māori advisor is now looking at new protocols for the area. 

A heaviness weighs on the shoulders of the workers and lingers on the foreground outside of Parliament.

Senior Maori Advisor for Parliament Kura Moeahu says “We've brought our staff here to pray for the incident. To pray for the heaviness that weighs on them from what happened yesterday”

The area where the man lit himself on fire yesterday and died in hospital, has left workers who helped in the incident upset and has left a question mark over what protocol will be established over that section.

Moeahu says, “We're in discussion at the moment. I spoke to one of our elders last night, I have many questions in my head and my thoughts are all over the place. What is our protocol for this now? To me, this is now a sacred place because someone has died here. This needs to be discussed by the tribe and the people of Parliament.”

A photo of the protestor has emerged on social media, locals say that he was a regular protester in Wellington.

Moeahu says that this is the first time that anything like this has happened at Parliament and will be taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of their staff.

She also says, “At the end of the day the staff are still sick. They're still grieving. It is a type of sickness because they are still carrying the image of what happened yesterday.”

Moeahu says that they will be discussing what to do with the area and how to deal with the situation.