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Convoy protest 21/2/22

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, February 21st, 2022 - 134 comments
Categories: covid-19 - Tags: , , ,

Day 14

Q and A interview with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster

Why we need stories of strength not division (Jess Berentson-Shaw, Newsroom)

Police crack down, Maori will catch the brunt of it (Tina Ngata on understanding why police haven’t done something, twitter)

Figureheads and factions: the key people at the parliament occupation (Toby Manhire, The Spinoff)

Police wave white flag as occupiers dig in – why parliament stalemate won’t end anytime soon (Marc Daalder, Newsroom)

Number of protesters’ vehicles in vicinity of Parliament nearly doubles in two days (State of play on the ground, , Stuff)

Protest as of 18/02/22. Image Henry Cooke and Kate Newton, Stuff

List of reasons for Convoy 2022 NZ (NZ Truckies FB)

Letter of Demand (from protest organisers)

Newsroom: ‘Splintered realities’: How NZ convoy lost its way

Stuff: Inside the disorienting, contradictory swirl of the convoy, as seen through its media mouthpiece,


134 comments on “Convoy protest 21/2/22 ”

  1. GreenBus 1

    With all the precautions and health rules ignored by the protesters, why aren't they getting sick and dropping like flies. No masks, no distancing, sharing stuff etc – and many un vaccinated. How come they are not getting the virus? What's going on at ground level?

    • vto 1.1

      How would you know they aren't getting the virus?

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        Exactly. And soon super spreading it as they leave.

      • GreenBus 1.1.2

        I don't know, no idea. Just thought if there is lots of virus in there we would have heard about it.

        • dv

          Sure How could they be tested?

          • GreenBus

            If people are sick, it will show up. If it doesn't show then they must be clear of virus or the virus is very mild?

          • Shanreagh

            I read somewhere on the media that they are not planning to go to hospitals to be tested with one saying he does not plan to go near a hospital as he will be looked after by Dr with vaccines who will be shedding Covid. This is the level of 'woo' that is around.

            Masks – don't need them as not being vaccinated they do not have Covid, ie Covid does not exist and all of those who are vaccinated have been given Covid

            I think Te Kemara had heard on the protestors' sites, talk of people with tonsillitis.

            I am pretty sure if people did get sick, Drs hospitals ,media, testing stations would be the last to know. On overseas websites following anti vaxxers the stories are legion of people using ivermectin, hydrochloroquine. bleach inhalants.
            Once the symptoms of not being able of not being able to breathe and our primeval responses to not being able to do this do they go to seek medical care. Often this is too late to treat Covid, it has gone from the body by this stage and what is left is the damage caused by Covid, kidney, vascular and lung diseases. Of course if you do get even mild symptoms then it does put you in line for Long Covid.

            • Shanreagh

              Advice from Wellington Hospital, John Tait.


              Protestors urged to go home …….

              'He said it would be preferable for protesters with symptoms of COVID-19 to be managed in the community.

              "As we all know, our ED is under some degree of stress, so certainly we'd prefer [the protesters] to go home, and if not, to contact a general practitioner or community service."

              Tait said a temporary inpatient screening zone had been set up at the hospital.

              "Everyone is screened coming through and if you're considered high-risk, then you'll be off for a swab. If you're unvaccinated, that does put you into the high-risk group."

              He said if anyone refused a test they would be treated as if they were positive for COVID-19 and isolated.

              "If they refuse to wear a mask, then we put them into a separate area and basically shut the door."

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Yeah, but they are purely anti mandate, not anti vax, as I am repeatedly told (weirdly, by people who are complete anti vaxxers) . So of course at least 90% will be double jabbed and boosted.

          (usual suspects insert reply that vaccine doesn't reduce spread, here)

          • Shanreagh

            Yeah, but they are purely anti mandate, not anti vax, as I am repeatedly told (weirdly, by people who are complete anti vaxxers)

            Yes this is the myth that is being perpetuated. I am taking this, and always have done with a grain of salt. The presence of the anti vaxx stalwarts in the planning and continued presence at the protest really calls into question if it is mandate focussed or anti vaxx focussed. Of course you cannot have a mandate without the presence of anti vaxxers. Some will be genuine in having has medical reasons for not having it.

            My other grain of salt is reserved for the allegedly huge number of people who have lost jobs because of the mandate. The mandates for public servants and State Sector employees are still wandering through the system. Private sector employers were keen to have staff vaccinated earlier on so some of the protestors may have been employed by them.

    • SPC 1.2

      Because the incidence in Wellington is low for now. This will change in the weeks ahead.

      • Muttonbird 1.2.1

        Also, the mandates have been doing their job and these people have largely not been exposed to the virus, yet. In particular, they haven't been allowed in bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

        Unlike a lot of Auckland workplaces which are now seeing multiple exposure events from vaccinated people trying to live normal lives and keep the economy going.

        • Belladonna

          Sorry, I think that's rubbish. Auckland has higher case numbers because a) it's a much bigger city and b) Covid has been 'wild' in the community for longer.

          Most Aucklanders aren't rushing out to bars and clubs (just as most Wellingtonians aren't).

          With Omicron, it seems, vaccinated people are much more likely to have an asymptomatic case (no symptoms, means no reason to get tested); but of course, can pass the infection on to someone who does go on to have severe symptoms.

          And, this is true, just as much in Wellington, as it is in Auckland:

          As Covid-19 community case numbers reach new daily highs around the country, people turning up at Wellington emergency rooms with unrelated health complaints are testing positive for the virus.


          I think that the current case numbers are a very significant underestimate of the actual infection rate.

          • Muttonbird

            You'd be surprised how much Aucklanders are going out. It's frightening to me, but then I am cautious in protecting my own livelihood and the livelihood of my workmates.

            I've had two workplaces shut down in the last week because positive exposure events. My sector does not yet come under critical status, but from today I think we can turn up to testing stations for RATs which is good.

            Once again I feel it is the vaccinated who are carrying the heavy load for the unvaccinated.

            • Belladonna

              I live in Auckland. Not seeing people being reckless (or at least not more so, than in any other part of the country).
              Those with higher risk choose to take a higher level of protection (my 80 year old Mum isn't going anywhere with high numbers of people).

              Masking is present at much higher levels than at other times over the last couple of years.

              However, realistically, Omicron is rife in the community – and pretty much all of us (in Auckland, at least) are going to catch it.

              Given that Auckland has a high number of fully vaccinated – who are more likely to get asymptomatic cases of Omicron – you are quite likely to catch it from someone who never even knows they had it.

              We are separated into multiple teams at work (vertical integration), with no contact between them – in the certain knowledge that we'll get cases & have to isolate some groups. Just hoping that this can be sequential, rather than parallel.

              People still being turned away from testing stations in my neighbourhood because not symptomatic (even though close contacts) – no RATs unless you're a critical worker.
              If MoH policy has changed, then the DHBs running the testing stations haven't caught up with it.

          • weka

            agreed that Auckland has higher numbers because it's had community spread longer.

            But if you look at the Queenstown outbreak locations of interest, it's pretty clear that covid is spreading because people have been going to events, places of entertainment, gyms, and flying. None of those are available to people without a vax pass other than flying if they get tested first (fallible but lowers risk).


            • weka

              Looking at Auckland locations of interest, there are all those things, plus churches, buses and medical centres.

              • Belladonna

                Yes, but only public infection vectors are listed. The majority of people are still catching Covid (as they always have) through family members. Intra- and Inter-household infection.

                We saw this most strongly with the Delta outbreak last year in Auckland. Despite being in hard lockdown with none of those 'spreader' events running (well, apart from the buses no one was catching) – Covid continued to spread, entirely through household-to-household transmission.

                • weka

                  true, but if the issue is whether there is mass spread of covid at the protest, I think where they have and haven't been matters. Look at the geographical spread in the Curia poll as well.

                  • Belladonna

                    It doesn't seem as though there has (at this stage) been a mass spread of Covid at the protest. Of course, that may be yet to come.

                    I'm pretty sure that the protesters aren't frequenting restaurants and bars or gyms in Wellington. If there is to be a super-spreader event, it will be the protest itself. But it's much, much more likely that spread will be between families.

                    I'm starting to question the relevance of a lot of these listed 'events'. Our local supermarket was closed 4 separate times for deep cleaning after a Covid positive member of staff was present for a work shift. There was not one case of a member of the public catching Covid at the supermarket though there were several staff-to-staff transmissions.

                    Interestingly, Auckland origin is under-represented in the Curia poll. I don't know what the reasons for that would be.

                    • weka

                      I guess cleaning supermarkets is something that can be done, as opposed to splitting up households.

                    • felix

                      Large supermarkets (or bunnings or similar) contain huge volumes of air, are very high ceilinged, and reasonably well ventilated. It would be very difficult for the required density of viral particles to concentrate in any one space in such an environment. It's the next best thing to being outside.

    • Belladonna 1.3

      I agree, that I'd be expecting CV numbers in Wgtn to be spiking upwards.
      Of course, many protesters have just (i.e. over the last few days) arrived – but there are certainly plenty who've been there for 5 days+.

      Those who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms are almost certainly not getting tested (no surprise). But I would be expecting those who are seriously unwell to be presenting to A&E – which we're not seeing (in significant numbers) – only 235 cases in C&C DHB yesterday.

      I do wonder if the fact the protest is outdoors helps with stopping CV spreading (we know that outdoor spread is significantly reduced). And, of course, a number are vaccinated – they're protesting mandates not vaccination. [Yes, there are anti-vax there, but don't tar all of them with the same brush]

    • Stan 1.4
      1. Hopefully COVID (and other infectious illnesses such as gastroenteritis, flu) won't take hold, but if you're looking for the perfect place to spread these illnesses then the protest is it.

      2. Do you seriously think any of the protestors would be keen to get a COVID test?

      3. There's an incubation period of 4 days (delta) or 3 days (omicron) so if COVID was speading it would be starting to do that perhaps now or in the next week (it takes 4 days for one person to show symptoms, then another 4 for the next to show, then another 4 days etc). Serious illness such as pneumonia doesn't show straight away, but peaks on day 10 or so of the infection. So if people were going to get seriously ill, would start appearing from now, and continue for as long as the infectious conditions of the protest continue.

  2. Reality 2

    A thoughtful letter in today's Dom Post "wouldn't it be wonderful if thousands of Wellingtonians (and elsewhere) turned up with placards, saying that until the pandemic is over they want to have mandated teachers, doctors, nurses and essential workers. The anti-mandate protesters have chosen their own freedom, which has consequences."

    For those who lost their job because they are anti-vaccine, perhaps they could try and find another job. Many who lost their job 18 months ago, such as tourism and travel operators, and pilots, showed some spunk and got out there and found work in completely new workplaces.

    • Shanreagh 2.1

      I would love to do this……I don't think it is recommended by the Police. The crowd is volatile and the sight of a multitude of masked people would set them right off I suspect.

      In Canada anti protestors did force protestors in vehicles (new comers) on their way to the centre from linking with the protestors but it was pretty hair raising as several people were clipped or almost by the utes & 4wds going there.

      The petition against them has reached 104,500 signatures.

      I actually am taking the claim that they have been mandated out with a large grain of salt. The govt type mandates for Public Servants and State Sector employees are still working through many workplaces or worked through very recently. Not sure about private sector employers but it was very clear early on even before the mandates that private employers were seeing this as a health & safety matter as well as from the point of view of business continuance and marketing.

      Anyway I do have a suggestion

      that tents

      from DSW/Work and Income / job centre be set up on the perimeter to advise on benefits, look at current entitlements or when these might kicjk in

      HCNZ to check that people who are homeless are on waiting lists

      Private sector job agencies /private sector rental agencies


      Well protected testing station for Covid?

      People who want to get ahead, live with the pandemic and whatever it will bring can make appts to see and talk to the people in the tents

      Only condition was that they are masked and observe the usual physical distancing rules.

      Pie in sky, leftie, middle class stuff perhaps but the offer would be there to help them help themselves

  3. Blade 3

    I see talkback is now asking about the competence of Andrew Coster to continue in his roll as police commissioner.

    That's never a good sign as the resignation meme will now spread like wildfire?

    I do feel sorry for this chap. Whichever way he moves, he's going down a dark alley.

    Ironically, the only thing that can save him, is the protesters themselves.

    • KJT 3.1

      If your fellow f wits on talkback don't like him, he must be doing a good job.

    • Blade 3.2

      Yep… on the news tonight- Andrew Costa.

      Does the the PM have confidence in him?

      Do politicians?

      He's under pressure.

      Putting down concrete blocks has bought Coster time. ( Jessica TV1)

      All questions and opinions asked tonight on TV news.

      So what did I write above?

      ''I see talkback is now asking about the competence of Andrew Coster to continue in his roll as police commissioner.

      That's never a good sign as the resignation meme will now spread like wildfire?''

      KJT, Matiri, Left For Dead – I'm sorry guys. The facts say you are living in an alternate universe. Next time before you engage, worry about the points I make and not the peripheral issues like spelling role as roll.laugh

  4. Reality 4

    Belatedly at least the police are actually doing something now to prevent more vehicles blocking the streets.

    • Blade 4.1

      Yes, it's a good move in some regards. But from what I UNDERSTAND, the new barriers would have to be removed before police can tow vehicles. That may cause problems in certain situations,

  5. observer 5

    The police bringing in perimeter barriers early this morning is a positive sign, because a) it was done without the violence we all fear, and b) it was done.

    A small step forward.

    • Matiri 5.1

      Will hopefully limit food deliveries, portaloo emptying etc – some are just there for the free food and because it's more enjoyable than being at home IMO.

    • McFlock 5.2

      I wonder where the barriers came from? Roadworks and heavy industry? Crane counterweights? Or two weeks of pouring and curing concrete?

      • Chris T 5.2.1

        They use them all the time on the motorway, so guessing the same shed somewhere down the road.

        They ain't some new invention.

        • McFlock

          Yeah, there's probably some yard where they're all stacked up. Most of the ones I've seen were more thin and angled rather than blocks.

          Just curious also whether to use them and where to get them from is in a manual, or whether Const Parker googled construction companies, lol. And then the companies were like "ok, five barriers per street is the norm".

          Just more idle thoughts than anything.

          • Chris T


            Wellington is a bit of a weird place road works wise.

            You can be perfectly happy going to work every day and then the next morning be driving down the motorway and there are those this blocking the other lane!

            Pretty funny, but annoying at the time.

            End of the day with the protest it is dumb tactics

          • joe90

            Readymix yards pour concrete returns into moulds to make all sorts of odds and sods.

    • observer 6.1

      As every Monday morning in the media round, since the invention of the cathode ray tube.

      Here's a scoop for you: she'll face media questions this afternoon. Like every PM after Cabinet, every working week, ever.

      • Shanreagh 6.1.1

        Very good…some days she even fronted up at 1.00pm & 4.00pm on consecutive days etc to talk about Covid matters.

        She has said she is leaving this to the Police to handle after the trespass notice was issued. The protestors know the conditions under which across govt discussions could take place.

        But I know what a scoop!

      • Blade 6.1.2

        Thanks for that, Observer(?) I like to learn new things everyday.

        Of course, I wasn't talking globally, but more focusing on that PMs lack of interest in either engaging with the protesters or commenting on police matters re the protesters, as the link gives a hint towards.

        I think her coming out and engaging, points towards movement behind the scenes

        As Sheanagins writes: ''But I know what a scoop!''

        I wouldn't say a scoop…more an indication – smoke signals if you like.

        • Shanreagh

          Jurisdictional matters apply re Govt and Police. Police have a constituional independence from Govt. Govt cannot intervene in operational matters, this is an operational matter. The protestors have been given the prerequisites for negotiations ages ago. Why should the PM say or do anything that

          a will put a great foot into the constitutional conventions of the separation of powers between Govt and the Police.

          b expand on the response that has already been given. It is not hard to understand the response. It basically says you are trespassing, move, remove your gear…..these are our conditions.

          PM may comment ‘about’ the protest and she has with comments on the effects on students etc but I have not seen a comment ‘on’ the protest except to say she has faith in Police to do their job. (though you could say this might be an about phrase)
          There is a difference.

          • Blade

            ''Jurisdictional matters apply re Govt and Police. Police have a constitutional independence from Govt. Govt cannot intervene in operational matters, this is an operational matter.''

            Well, yes and no. I posted this the other day:

            ''The chief executive of Police is known as the Commissioner and is appointed by the Governor General. Andrew Coster is the current Commissioner of New Zealand Police. The Commissioner of Police is accountable to the Minister of Police for the administration of police services, but acts independently in carrying out law enforcement decision.

            So we have what looks like a clear demarcation of constitutional responsibilities between the Commissioner and the government.

            But let's look at the definition of some police services.


            Here's one heading:

            Personal & community safety

            ''Get some advice on the safety of yourself, your family, property and visitors to New Zealand.''

            In my opinion the lines between government and police duties can become blurred.

            If I was Poto Williams, I would be asking the Commissioner what the hell he was going to do about the protesters. And as a side note, I would probably say his job may also be on the line. I wouldn't be asking him how his Police Services are functioning, or whether they needed reviewing.

            I have NO proof the government is interfering in police matters. But it seems impossible to me they haven't applied pressure to Coster for a resolution.

            The review is going to be a boomer.

            • lprent

              You should read your own comment. Even before it faltered into lacking a point, you’d successfully proved yet again that the police have their own duties.

              The key distinction between operational and policy seems to have escaped you. That is called resourcing. Howeve rteh appointment isn’t made the by Minister of Police or the PM.

              The chief executive of Police is known as the Commissioner and is appointed by the Governor General. Andrew Coster is the current Commissioner of New Zealand Police. The Commissioner of Police is accountable to the Minister of Police for the administration of police services, but acts independently in carrying out law enforcement decisions.

              Nationally we have 12 districts, which are administered from Police National Headquarters in Wellington, and a number of national service centres that provide administrative and specialised support, such as forensic services.

              Each of the 12 districts have a District Commander and a team of Area Commanders who manage the day-to-day operations. You can find a list of these commanders on the district pages.

              The political side have around the same level as influence as the outgoing commissioner and their assistant, or the district commanders and even out to the senior justices. Unless there is sufficient support across a wide range of the people who have to deal with the new commissioner, they will be ineffective. And the GG is required to take advice on the appointment from well outside the Minister or PM.

              In all cases, the selection is pretty much restricted from within the ranks of district commanders. Changing the commissioner outside of their appointment pretty much requires a personal failing or a very obvious failing in their duty. Last time it was about 2000 (Peter Doone) and because of allegedly interfering with a breathalyser test of his partner.

              The Minister of Police’s primary role is to lobby the cabinet for funds to support new measures. For instance putting extra police into Wellington central permanently. Or updating the police car fleet. Or to increase the number of police cadets going through RNZPC in Porirua. Or to digitally encrypt the police radio network (something that they should do).

              Obviously gaining the support of the Minister and cabinet is important to do these things or many others. That is supporting policies of the cabinet. However commissioners have been rumoured to forego the goodies if they perceive the tradeoffs interfere with their operations. Being Minister of Police is one of the worst jobs in cabinet.

              • Dennis Frank

                Dunno where you get that her primary role is a lobbyist for the cops from.

                Responsibilities include oversight of the general conduct, functions, and duties of the Police, and the effective, efficient, and economical management of the Police.


                If any of her responsibilities aren't actually included in that official description it would be a flagrant breach of the principle of transparent governance!

                Seems clear that she can't get that oversight of their conduct unless they report it to her eh? Coster, therefore, must be doing that. Or else he has delegated that task to a subordinate.

                And how can she possible manage the cops effectively, efficiently, and economically, unless she can satisfy herself that their performance reaches that standard??

                So I really can't see why you'd include her in that bit about the political side having about as much influence as the outgoing commissioner (who seems ancient history already) when the official page implies she has an extremely hands-on role. Or do you reckon she's ignoring that official description??

                • Shanreagh

                  I think you are barking up the wrong tree and thinking there is drama when there is not. In practice it all works completely clearly and constitutionally, there is no untoward boundary breaching, everyone knows their roles. Police still have to get approval for the funds to operate. This is voted through Vote: Police. The Minister of Police is the person that shepherds the updated $$$ through Parliament. The Police can not do this.

                  The Police do not have a separate money tree called the Police money tree. The money provided in Vote Police is for the resourcing and included in this will be a measure of day to day bulk funds for salaries, building maintenance. There will be some capital needed regularly say to buy new cars etc. As lprent says new initiatives will be covered as well. There are a number of whole of Govt steps through which say new tech initiatives are looked at and will have been looked at before the final proposal is put in the Vote for debate. Lprent mentions some as well

                  For instance putting extra police into Wellington central permanently. Or updating the police car fleet. Or to increase the number of police cadets going through RNZPC in Porirua. Or to digitally encrypt the police radio network (something that they should do).

                  She as usual will be keen to be able to put her ideas/suggestions/ways of framing in during the early stages and when Vote items go to the Select Cttee. She will also need a grasp of overall Police matters so she can answer quite tough questions about justifications at Cabinet see Lprents ideas.

                  She will be looking to the Commr of Police to keep the show going She would not intervene and say instead of having the toilet block at Waitemata fixed I would like a better garage set up for Police Vehicles in Waipawa. She may raise it….This is an operational matter. Similarly with police operations relating to crime.

                  She will be getting regular reports as to overall staffing, current pinch points or possible future pinch points. She will also get prior advice if the Commr had to sack or charge a group of Police for say money laundering. On a need to know basis only sufficient for her to say 'yes I have been briefed by the Commr whose responsibility it is. if you have further questions please ask the Commr.

                  She will be getting requests from her constituents that she will pass on to Police to answer or prepare a reply for her to answer. She will also be getting letters from every MP in the House as they pass on for answer the letters they get from their constituents. When I worked in Min of Police office we passed many more letters addressed to Min of Police on down to the Commr to answer as compared to the usual department/Minister set-up. This was because of the constitutional set-up and distancing from day to day operational matters.

                  Commr will have a regular slot with the Minister. Usually weekly. More if there is legislation going through or if the Vote Police is being looked at.

                  Commr will have access to a range of Intelligence and to the CEs of other law type depts. Customs, Agriculture. SIS etc etc. He has close contacts with police in other jurisdictions and Interpol etc.

                  She definitely does not have hands on role, far from it, except to ensure that the Police have funds and are managing their functions in a competent manner.

              • Shanreagh

                The govt actually has less of a role her than The Speaker. The grounds around parliament come under his purview and he is the one who has issued the trespass notice.

                Trust me I have worked in the Office of the Minister of Police in a Labour govt and the roles are tightly adhered to. The Commr may just advise that they are working on the protest and how it is going but would not be probing details or offering/discussing ideas. I expect that Min of Police would have been informed of what was planned for this morning so she was not caught on the hop by a pesky journo ringing at 4.00pm.

                I think as you may not understand the constitutional conventions you ae reading more inot it tahn is there.

                I do not think his job is under threat. He is the one on the job, he has all the info and his actions have been understated, giving warning, then acting. Very slick I feel. We got a preview of this when the cars were towed yesterday, warnings given not heeded, cars towed.

                As to whether it is the worst job in Cabinet (lprent below) my boss used to say being Minister of Health would be worse.

            • Craig H

              Another wrinkle is that Parliament is sovereign and constitutionally separate from the Crown, so is not in the purview of ministers of the Crown other than in their capacity as MPs.

        • Gabby

          What would you think was the appropriate way to 'engage' with the individual who created the 'Jewcinda' sign?

  6. Belladonna 7

    Setting aside any political slant (Curia is the National Party pollster) – they've done a fascinating survey of the population at the protest.


    Political representation (based on party voted for at last election) across the spectrum (including a very substantial percentage from left wing groups).
    Reinforcing that this isn't a left or a right wing protest – it's something else.

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      Could be wrong, but I believe Farrar is the former National Party pollster.

      • Belladonna 7.1.1

        Why does it matter?

        • Muttonbird

          It doesn't, but you said Curia is the National Party pollster and I'm saying I don't think that's true.

          Farrar now polls for ACT Party proxy, the Taxpayers’ Union.

          • Belladonna

            He always has polled for TU. Doesn't prevent him working for other clients.
            Polls for the NP will be confidential information (just as the ones that the LP do using their preferred pollsters, are)

            • Muttonbird

              If you say so, but at a particular point in the last few months there was an overnight change in media reporting of the client Curia is polling for, from The National Party, to the ACT Party (TU).

              My guess is Judith found out he was complicit in undermining her and she fired him. He's not yet returned.

              I said as much on his blog and was banned for it.

            • Sanctuary

              It's a nice little grift for Farrar, he sets up the Taxpayers Onion and get Jordan Williams to shill for secret corporate cash which he then gives to David Farrar for polling.

  7. Dennis Frank 8

    I'm reposting this here due to mod request despite my intention to raise deeper governance issues (indents signal quotes from source at bottom).

    Every party in Parliament has signed a joint-statement saying they will not talk to the convoy protesters until they stop breaking the law. Meanwhile, the minister responsible for diversity, inclusion and ethnic communities, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, refuses to address the situation at Parliament.

    I suppose that means she doesn't see them as sufficiently diverse, inclusive & ethnic to be worth taking responsibility for? Media reportage has depicted the protestors as extremely diverse & ethnic, so it must be their lack of inclusivity that disqualifies them. But what if the authorities are meant to be inclusive? Stuff: "Fostering inclusion means listening to protesters – human rights commissioner".

    Paul Hunt said the situation playing out on Parliament grounds constituted a crisis, and the Government needed to do more to engage in a critical, respectful dialogue if it hoped to restore a feeling of safety and belonging.

    Crisis? What crisis? Well, when the chief human rights commissioner takes a moral stand in total opposition to the unanimity of parliament, liberals everywhere are liable to engage an orgy of pearl-clutching. That could seem like a crisis.

    Stuff's reporter has a positive take on the rabble:

    the majority of protesters represent a turning tide of people who are stressed, tired, and question the ongoing vaccine mandates.

    This tidal theory of public opinion may not get traction if omicron infection numbers keep trending exponential though.

    Anyhow the diversity minister says

    she did not see the link between what was happening at Parliament, and issues regarding the country’s social cohesion.

    Binary divides within the populace aren't evidence of a lack of cohesion. To her.

    it’s about systemic change; about us working collectively to create a society where people feel safe, valued, where they can feel a sense of belonging and can participate.”

    Oh, so the dissidents will feel at home again when her work is completed, then? Perhaps she could delegate someone to travel to the protest & spread the good news.


    • Gabby 8.1

      They must be praxising patience. Nonbinary patience. Everyone know that old binary patience is passe. In praxis.

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        Whew! I was beginning to think that I had raised issues too deep for other commentators to comprehend but obviously you grasp them fully. However one swallow does not make a summer. Just a nonbinary.

    • Shanreagh 8.2

      The situation with the protesters is in the hands of the Police and they are working to evict, for want of a better word, the protesters as they are trespassing Proper notice has been given by the person whose responsibility it is and now the Police are doing the operational work.

      The Govt, ie the Minsters have clearly been advised or think it themselves that to provide a multitude of comments from various Ministers is not helpful. And it is not helpful.

      I think just about every Minister could chip in with something about the situation that is of concern or relevance to their portfolio. For instance the Minister responsible for Survey etc might want to pass on a concern that survey pegs may be being tampered with, or Agriculture that maybe some of the farmers there, if there are any, may have ignored various pest boundaries say relating to bees or Micoplasma Bovis. But they don't.

      The comments on the operational matters are made by those who responsibility it is to manage the on ground situation to evict the protestors.

      Govt has said that protestors need to go before they will talk and I get a subtext, if then. In view of the fact that management of the covid health risk is ongoing and we always knew/trusted that when the need for health precautions had passed then they would go. We can see progress on the travel, border, MIQ situation as a way that this gradual lifting is working. Lifting mandates right at the upsurge of Omicron is naff thinking and I wonder why the protest organisers ever thought their timing was right.

      They might have had a point had we gone through the Omicron surge, out the other side and no threats foreseeable say in May and come November we still have mandates. If that happened even I would be concerned that they had not been lifted

      My view is that this protest is hugely influenced in many ways from overseas where jurisdictions are lifting the precautions as they have passed through the Omicron surge and out the other side. Canada, UK and now Aus. The protestors actually have no clue what is really going on here in NZ, that is clear.

      The Human Rights Commr is passing on his views and it is good, it is part of his responsibilities to do this. He also has a special and unusual relationship with Govt. His calls do not mean though that the Govt is bound to accede to them.

      The Minister for Ethnic Affairs Priyanca Radhakrishnan, is working to let those who have responsibility deal with the protest, just as all her colleagues are and just as the Nats are. It is not her responsibility to say or do anything at all about what is happening. It is in the hands of the Police.

      The Stuff article is lamentable. Making a story out of nothing. The coverage is full of misunderstandings about roles, confusion about things that are not confusing etc etc.

  8. Ad 10

    Jason Kerrison and Gilda Kirkpatrick are coming.

    They should film a fresh season of Dancing with the Stars there.

    Call it Dancing with the Scum.

  9. Muttonbird 11

    What kind of peaceful protest is this?

    Protesters have allegedly thrown human waste at officers – and ripped off some of the officers' masks – as they clashed with police in Wellington early this morning.

    Only the best people.


  10. Sanctuary 12

    Looks like the cops have woken up and put up their lines of contravallation. Now the siege begins. How long until the besieged run out of food and essential supplies?

  11. Tricledrown 13

    Seymour can't help himself by undermining the health initiatives to grovel a few votes out of the facist white supremacists,Qanon conspiracy theorists.

    what a low life playing the Trump card.

    • Sanctuary 13.1

      His electoral logic is remorseless – he'll do anything for votes. ACT is a party of the fringe, what we see as the base Seymour sees as his base.

    • weka 14.1

      my strong preference is that we don't make jokes about this, given the serious nature of what may be about to happen with covid spread among police, protestors and the wider community.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        Fair enough. My comment was unnecessarily flippant. So I apologise for that.

        Having said that, I do think it is likely that the protesters are the source of the police infections, especially given that there are so many unvaxxed people in the protest.

        I certainly hope that this protest doesn't end up as a super-spreader event.

        • Robert Guyton

          "I certainly hope that this protest doesn't end up as a super-spreader event."

          Really? Do you really think that's a possibility???

          • tsmithfield

            I think protesters getting Covid is quite predictable, and probably what will end the protest.

            It could change the dynamics of whether police will continue to be involved though, as it is probably a health and safety hazard for the police to be there now.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              It seems likely they will have covid run through.

              Not sure that will end the protest. Even in a largely unvaccinated group (which I expect they are) – possibly only 5-10% or so will get sick enough to need hospital attention. That level of illness is a big concern for most groups, but if one in twenty protesters get sick, they will likely deflect and say it is something else / a biological attack etc. Still leaves a lot of people who are not sick, to carry on.

        • weka

          Having said that, I do think it is likely that the protesters are the source of the police infections, especially given that there are so many unvaxxed people in the protest.

          Or, one of the police got it somewhere else and it's spread because of the close proximity of them in their work currently.

          • tsmithfield

            True we can't be absolutely sure.

            But, close proximity to large groups of people probably isn't a good idea, which is why we have a gathering limit restriction at the moment, which, the protesters are probably breaching at the moment I suspect, though that won't bother them. If it isn't this time, then Covid is likely to run rampant throught he protest group at some point.

            If police are close to this group for extended periods of time then it probably is a work-related hazard, especially that the viral load exposure is one factor that contributes to degree of sickness.


  12. observer 15

    Picture here is John Ansell, former ad man for the National Party.

    Jacinda Ardern and the Christchurch terrorist, compared.


  13. swordfish 16

    So Kemara endorses Byron C Clark's concerns about protesters being radicalised.

    Would this be the same Kemara who served prison time for his central involvement in the Urewera paramilitary training camps 2005-07 … one of the fantasist nutters running about in military uniform with unlawful possession of lethal firearms & restricted weapons and allegedly talking of targeted assassination & bombing ?

    Farcical fantasists or hardcore proto-terrorists … who knows ? … but extraordinary chutzpuh for Kemara to clutch his pearls about radicalisation & for certain commentators on The Standard (generally affluent Woke Pakeha with a Rik-like passion for an aura of Che Guevara Beret-wearing radical chic) to regularly promote him as some sort of important pundit / oracle / source of infinite wisdom.

    As always, the rank hypocrisy & systematic double standards of the Woke is astounding.

    • Blade 16.1

      The post I have waited sooo long to read.

      To be fair, if this is the same guy, he ticks all the boxes for being a liberal taonga.


      I remember when Tame Iti was interviewed by Jeremy Wells and his side kick Mikey Havoc ( or was it the other way around?) about the Urewera paramilitary training camps. You didn't need to be Allan Pease to see the questions made Tame very uncomfortable. I can still remember his eyes darting around the room.

      Still, each to their own.

      • weka 16.1.1

        Iti figured among the at least 17 people arrested by police on 15 October 2007 in a series of raids under the Terrorism Suppression Act and the Firearms Act.[18][19] In September 2011 most of the alleged terrorists originally arrested with Iti had all terrorism and firearms charges dropped. Iti and three others were charged with belonging to a criminal group.

        The trial was held in February and March 2012, and Iti and the other defendants were found guilty of some firearms charges, and not guilty of others.[20] On the most substantial charge of belonging to a criminal group, the jury could not reach a verdict, even when invited by the judge to reach a majority verdict of ten to one.[21] The Crown decided not to proceed with a second trial.[22] Justice Rodney Hansen sentenced Iti and Rangi Kemara to a two-and-a-half-year prison term on 24 May 2012.[2]

        In October 2012 Iti and the three others convicted on firearms charges following the raids lost an appeal against their sentences. Iti's son Wairere Iti said his father was "not overly surprised", and they may take the case to the Supreme Court.[23] Iti was granted parole in February 2013.[3]

        Iti was released from prison on the morning of 27 February 2013. Prison staff described him as a "role model prisoner".[4] Iti said he enjoyed his time inside, working as a mechanic and working on his art and writing.[24]


        Schrodinger's terrorists.

        • Blade

          Crikey, I didn't expect you to know about quantum mechanics. You have collapsed my wave function.

      • Robert Guyton 16.1.2

        Tame's eyes always dart around the room – it's a cultural phenomenon.

        Sometimes, when I read your comments, mine roll back in my head 🙂

    • Hetzer 16.2

      Im guessing he knows his audience Swordfish, they are easily played it seems.

  14. McFlock 17

    A freedom protestor wants "security" to escort journalist off parliament grounds.

    • Peter 17.1

      So, some in a protest about freedom stop a citizen from wandering around the capital city. The journalist erred by not taking a posse of other New Zealand citizens with him. Say three men comfortably over 1.82m tall and three diminutive grandmothers in their 80s.

      I had dealings with one of the latter group yesterday. Intitially she would have politely said, "I hear you dear, you get about your business and I'll get about mine." After further harassment she would have said, "Fuck off, I have as much right to be here as anyone."

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        The greatest damage can be inflicted by a solitary 140cm nun aged over 80. But then I'm lapsed catholic, lol

  15. joe90 18

    Run, sane people, run for the hills while you still can.

    • weka 18.1

      think I'm going to do a post about that one. Let me know if you see any more of her, or any details about her (eg if she's part of an organisation).

    • McFlock 18.2

      Won't anyone think of the lambs?

    • observer 18.3

      Honestly, I saw that but then thought (not for the first time in this protest): what do we do about this? Not ridicule and ostracise, not "negotiate" or "meet halfway" with nonsense, not ban or otherwise attack, but what?

      One factor for me is the crowd response. If it's positive and loud, then rebut (because it's indicative of a wider problem). They seem to be mostly ignoring her here.

      Clips out of context don't show other speakers disagreeing and challenging, so maybe that happened afterwards, but it doesn't seem to be happening much with these speeches.

      (My point is, things like Ansell’s vile placard MUST be called out, because he is somebody with a profile, but some of this other stuff is just … like policing the internet, we can’t).

    • Robert Guyton 18.4

      How on earth did she avoid getting infected by the lamb???

      Though I suppose, by the time she was drawing off its black and clotted blood, it wasn't able to breath over her.

      When I heard her speak, my inner voice screamed, "Holey SHED!"

      • Peter 18.4.1

        One of the things that crossed my mind was how terrible my sight is. I did not discern last week that the blood I gave, as a vaccinated person, was black and clotted.

        I'm scared to touch the dog and our stock just in case. And I guess two negatives must make a positive because we touch each other and haven't dropped dead.

        The media? It must've been bought off because there aren't reports of "everyone dropping dead with heart attacks and strokes."

        • Robert Guyton

          The first thing the spike proteins take out, Peter, is your eyesight.

          The second, is media trustworthiness.

          Thirdly, tolerance for f*ckwittery.

          It's a cruel race to the bottom.

    • Shanreagh 18.5

      As bad as the young guy on Twitter on Saturday who said he would not being going to a hospital even if he got sick at the protest, say with 'tonsillitis' I think they call it at the protest.

      He did not want to come into contact with health people who had been vaccinated as they would be 'shedding' and give him Covid.

  16. ianmac 19

    IF police show that they are infected then there must be protesters also infected.

    Police officers on duty at the anti-mandate occupation in Wellington have tested positive for Covid-19, Stuff understands.

    At least five cases have been discovered so far. Police were approached for comment just before 6pm on Sunday.


    • weka 19.1

      not necessarily (original infection in the police could have come from somewhere else), but a distinct possibility.

  17. Blade 20

    I'm going to play the devils advocate here. devil

    I few years back, and still today in some quarters, Morgellons disease, was considered quackery of the first water.

    But now?


    Give the lady a chance. laugh

  18. Anker 21
    • Ok the protesters have crossed a line for me. Throwing human waste at police officers is disgusting and I hope whoever did it gets serious jail time
    • weka 21.1

      can you please fix your username, it causes problems for moderators to post under different versions.

  19. Anker 22

    Many apologies Weka. For whatever reason it seems to be dropping the R

  20. Reality 23

    Just a matter of time – the protesters are arguing with each other. And complaining at having to walk to the stadium to the portaloos and walk back through obstacles. Oh dear, it is such a long way (just over the road). Parliamentary life sure is tough.

  21. Blade 24

    Apologies if someone has posted this somewhere today, but Johnny accused the PM of a low blow – re interrupting by Johnny. When the Left come to blows, it can be vicious. Pitbulls have nothing on two Lefties facing off.

    And what was the PM talking about? Why protesters. From zero to one hundred in less than a day.


  22. McFlock 25

    Towing another vehicle – 1m35s "500,000 people know where you live" at the towie.

  23. observer 26

    An excellent column by a local resident. Not "Beehive spin" or "media lies" or some other excuse for ignoring.

    "Congratulations for totally undermining what could’ve been an impressive, communal movement helping hold government to account."

    At some point the apologists for the protesters need to face reality: choosing not to see and living in denial is not going to work.


  24. joe90 27

    Entitled bludger says taxpayer cash and tech for me, but not for thee.

    Coutts said it was important to keep an "open mind".

    "When I look at how we've been treated and how we've been expected to almost blindly follow the advice of so-called experts opinion in simply in my view because they might have an impressive academic title," he said.


    • Shanreagh 27.1

      Yes he is a tosser* all right.

      Thought I'd look up to find the dictionary meaning….

      *The word tosser describes a person with a tendency to show off or brag in an excessive and embarrassing way.


      It'll do…..they also suggested 'wan***' might do but I'm not going there.

  25. Peter 28

    Are those who have impressive sporting backgrounds able to explain clearly how some in the media have been paid by the government to promote government policy propaganda and spin?

    • Shanreagh 28.1

      'But but but, I don't need to do that…I'm in with the protestors now bro and we say anything we want whether it is fact or not, believable or not'.

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