Protestors cause busy shopping strip to shut doors

By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo credit / Newshub

Anti-mandate protestors have headed to Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro's official residence at Government House in Epsom after filling the streets of Newmarket in central Auckland on Saturday afternoon.

About a thousand protestors gathered at the Auckland Domain this morning for the rally promoted online by the Freedoms & Rights Coalition as 'The Mass Exodus', before marching along Newmarket's Broadway shopping strip chanting 'Jacinda must go' and holding placards such as 'Resign Ardern' and 'Vax passports are government control'.

Police said they were "closely monitoring" the protest, balancing the safety of protesters and the public, with the right to peacefully protest.

According to an NZ Herald report, a teacher who spoke over the PA system at the rally said the situation had "really hit home" this week as unvaccinated people began facing restrictions as the government's traffic light system came into operation.

Newmarket retail boss Mark Knoff-Thomas described the rally as "shameful".

"To all of those mindless people demanding “freedom” protesting through the streets of Newmarket right now - causing shops to shut their doors, on what should be our busiest Saturday for months - all you have done is hurt small business owners with your deluded protest. Shameful," Knoff-Thomas said in a social media post.