The Twenty-Third Day


THE COUPLE sat in the middle of Molesworth Street sobbing. The young man turned his face away from the camera, shoulders heaving. The young woman stared directly at the camera lens, her face a pitiful picture of hurt and confusion. How had it come to this?

On Day 23 of the Occupation of Parliament Grounds, the Police’s patience ran out – as it was bound to, eventually.

Seldom has New Zealand witnessed a policing strategy which placed so much emphasis on “de-escalation”, or was so loathe to use violence to end what was, from the very beginning, an unlawful protest.

The restraint of Police Commissioner Andrew Coster offered a compelling historical contrast to that of Police Commissioner John Cullen, the man who called forth “Massey’s Cossacks” in 1913, and who in 1916 led the Police raid on Rua Kenana’s religious community at Maungapohatu. From the very beginning, Coster was determined to avoid the sort of violence for which Commissioner Bob Walton’s policing of the Springbok Tour is remembered. Coster was, after all, the senior police officer responsible for managing the Ihumatao occupation – the one that ended peacefully.

Unfortunately, it takes two to tango, and what passed for “the leadership” of the occupation steadfastly refused to dance. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that a peaceful resolution was never going to happen.

As the reports of the SIS’s Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) released to the NZ Herald under the Official Information Act, make disturbingly clear, the “extremist elements” within the multi-faceted and “overwhelmingly peaceful” anti-vaccination and anti-vaccination-mandate movement, have never had anything to gain from a peaceful resolution.

Coster, well aware of the CTAG assessments, gave every opportunity for the “overwhelmingly peaceful” elements encamped on Parliament Grounds to send him representatives with whom a meaningful dialogue about the character and duration of the occupation could be sustained. That this proved to be impossible indicates just how completely the residents of “Freedom Village” had allowed themselves to become enthralled to the ideas of its “extremist elements”.

Represented by that traumatised young couple in the middle of Molesworth Street, so many of the people participating in the occupation did not appear to grasp the reality of their situation. In spite of the fact that they had set their faces against the laws of the land. Heedless of the dangerous behaviour manifested by a growing number of their fellow occupiers. Regardless of the harm and inconvenience their actions were causing to others. The protesters continued to behave as if they were somehow impervious to the likely consequences of their actions.

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Like the Native American “Ghost Dancers” of the late-nineteenth century, the protesters had convinced themselves that their powerful “medicine” would save them. The little world they had created on Parliament Grounds was stronger that “Jacinda’s” government; stronger than the journalists of the “evil media”; stronger than Andrew Coster and his “pigs”; stronger than anything the corrupt “system” could throw at them. Every attempt by that same system to engage with them and negotiate a peaceful resolution to their occupation was presented by the movement’s extremist guides as proof of their enemies’ diabolical cunning. All the more reason to “hold the line”.

The New Zealand government, and the New Zealand public, were prepared to let Coster give his de-escalation strategy a decent try. But, their patience was not endless. As the days turned into weeks, and the occupiers’ alternative reality kept smashing into the reality of everybody else, even Coster was forced to concede that his policy of reaching out and attempting to establish common ground had failed.

What’s more his intelligence reports began to align more and more alarmingly with the findings of CTAG. The peace, love and mung-beans crowd was thinning out, replaced by individuals eager to play the roles of “saviours” and “avengers” – by any means necessary.

It was time to wind it up.

And wind it up Coster and his highly-disciplined constables did. In scenes that will long be remembered, the Police in considerable numbers, and properly equipped (at last) with the riot gear needed to do the job, unleashed a torrent of pepper-spray on the protesters attempting to “hold the line” against the Police Commissioner’s encroaching army.

People reeled back in pain and shock. Eyes burning, skin burning, stumbling blindly, they were met by “medics” carrying 5 litre containers of milk to soothe the fire in the victims’ eyes. The skirmishers learned quickly to turn their backs to the Police, but that just offered the men and women with the riot shields increased surface area upon which to apply pressure. Remorselessly, the “line” was driven back.

And on this, the 23rd day, unlike all the other days, the Police did not stop. Like the amplified messages on continuous loop telling the protesters that continued resistance would result in arrest, phalanxes of police officers just kept on coming. Soon, every corner of “Freedom Village” was under assault. Like a garotte, the contracting police lines began to slowly but surely throttle the protest.

There was no perimeter to defend now, the blue tide was surging across Parliament Grounds, ripping out the occupiers’ tents, hurling them aside. Then the fires broke out. Tents and belongings burned. The protesters’ angry retreat became a rout. The Götterdämmerung the extremists had willed into existence over the preceding 22 days was finally upon them. Black smoke billowed-up from beneath the Pohutakawas, swirled around the statue of King Dick Seddon, and scudded over the nation’s Parliament on the wings of an early-autumn wind.

New Zealand had never seen anything like it.

In the dying days of World War II, as the British and Americans advanced deeper and deeper into western Germany, and the news of Adolf Hitler’s suicide spread, his people began to give up. His soldiers, too, started to surrender. One of these was photographed by Allied newsmen. Hans-Georg Henke was just sixteen, one of the boy soldiers that had been Nazism’s last hope, and he was weeping openly before the cameras. His child’s face a pitiful picture of hurt and confusion.

What had it all been for? How had the Fuhrer led Germany into this nightmare of death, destruction and defeat. Why had the German people allowed him to set their whole world on fire?

The look in the eyes of that young woman, as she clung tearfully to her young man in the middle of Molesworth Street on the 23rd day of the occupation; and the expression on the face of Hans-Georg Henke; were strikingly similar.



    • The final dust up between protesters and police is irrelevant to the substance of the issue, which is, are the mandates lawful or unlawful? At one point, 70% of NZ disagreed with the protesters. Neither does this majority make the mandates lawful or unlawful. Nor does the protesters burning down a tent and breaking the law make the mandates lawful or unlawful. The High Court will soon hear a case from Matthew Hague – the lawyer who won revocation of mandates for police and defence – against vaccine passes, and other mandates. Pro-mandate journalists and politicians are using bad behaviour of protesters as a smoke screen for the violation of the Bill of Rights. The melodramatic piece above is an example of this. Sadly it’s typical of journalists these days who are beholden to their government benefactors via the “Public Interest Journalism Fund”.

  1. The police there were all someone’s son or daughter or wife or husband or flatmate or neighbour or clubmate.
    Or meat in the sandwich or enemy.

    Well done and thank you to the police. Well done to their strategists.

    • Peter, Yes well done New Zealand Police, acting with incredible restraint and professionalism. They’re our brothers and sisters, more so than the distanced politicians whom they also protected from the wrath and madness of deluded protestors. Few of us will ever forget the parents shouldering and holding their infants as shields, in what can only be described as acts of barbarism. Pity the children.

  2. Thank God that nonsense is over, very poorly handled by all parties concerned. It had to happen to bring this event to an end. In hindsight the Police did a good job however in future issues needed to be addressed earlier. Mallard aggravated the situation early on with his lack of maturity.

    • Hey Bro, you been taken over by right wing propaganda from the dirty politics brigade. No one likes Mallard, he’s a bully and a mongrel but he is also the best speaker we have had in parliament in last 40 years and he needs to be to put up with the privileged right wing tories’ nonsense.

  3. “ What had it all been for? How had the New Zealand people allowed her to set their whole world on fire?”

    You may find that New Zealanders ask this very question of Ardern and her government at the end of their term.

  4. The other side is the police should never have let the protestors set up camp.

    They had ample warning the protesters were driving to Parliament and did nothing to stop the protestors driving right into dodge.

    Surely as a country we can do better than marching out the goon squad, it’s 2022, not 1922.

      • The point is the minute they set up tents they were breaking Parliament’s rules and could have been threatened with trespass.

        The police did a restrained, professional job yesterday of clearing the site and dealing with the riot and full kudos to them, but I hope they will look at how they prepared for, and initially responded to, the convoy’s arrival.

        • I watched the livestream on day one from Stuff, was an over view, it was said the police trespassed them and they wouldnt leave which is why some got arrested on day one, I think the police didnt want to take it further as there were children on that front line being used as meat shields by protesters, cowardly behavior and since then many attempts were made to get those children out, I hear 4 children got pepper sprayed indicating just how close their parents had them to the front line yesterday.

      • I was more thinking of blocking the protesters driving right to Parliament grounds Brigid.

        If the cops had half a brain between them they would have blocked any roads leading into Parliament and said to the protesters you can protest until your heart is content, but from here you go on foot.

        Therefore there is no bylaw broken with people camping.

        But Ardern has made her bed now, I’m interested to see how she finds lying in it. I guess we’ll know at the next election if the average K1w1 has a brain to think for themselves.

        I also look forward to the next protest that she might happen to agree with to see if she sends in the goon squad.

        See that’s the thing, at some stage everyone is going to see a protest they disagree with.

        Will those people agree with the goon squad going in then because those protesters know their pronouns like bomber says…???

  5. It could all have been avoided if Ardern had removed the vaccine mandates – you know – the one the High Court said breeched the Human Rights Act.

    So this is entirely on her.

    (Oh and they burnt Mallard’s slide LOL)

      • Yes very unamusing Andrew naughty boy. That $500,000 slide is used by 25,000 kids every hour, not. The thing that pisses me off about that slide is that I didn’t get the contract to built it. It would have a profit margin of $450,000….easily.

        • The New Kraut – As usual, you and Andrew are missing the point. The slide was built for children to enjoy. The burning of the slide is yet another sign of how children are discounted in this country and provides quite a chilling symbol of this – if you can grasp that. Try anyway.

          • Snow White
            You miss my point entirely – that slide could have been built for $50,000 – not fucking $500,000 of our valuable tax payer money. Inside job with some mate of a mate who builds playgrounds, I bet. “Yep, quote looks cheap, let’s sign it.” Being a labour govt project there is no accountability for cost or feasibility at all (500K for a slide that entertains…what? 3 kids a week if that?) Same with all other projects like the cancelled bike bridge etc etc etc etc. Mallard is simply the poster child for the most wasteful govt in a long time, spending stupid amounts of money on bad ideas, like failed Kiwibuild or Robbos new insurance scheme which has already been panned all-round, including here by MB. And shall we start discussing the stupid AKL ‘already-outdated-on-launch-rail-thing’ worth 15 billion, make it 25 billion. Is 25 billion feasible for something like that, in a country that has GDP of only around 200 billion? Almost 10% of the country’s output goes to that one bit of train???? No it’s not! No critical thinking whatsoever before signing off the money. Crazy! Money is no object with Labour. Just to finish: Mallard should have been fired long ago for the rape allegation settlement – he used our money to buy himself out of trouble – fucking scandal!!!! Did Jacinda fire him? No.

    • Andrew, I’m waiting th hear how the learned High Court Judge is going to make the virus abide by the Bill of Rights.

        • Glen, that’s exactly the point. Being ‘clever’ with the law will not stop the virus spread; our hospitals, emergency services, supply chains are already stretched to collapse – removing mandates would ensure that collapse. The law is written with the best of intentions, but seldom covers all eventualities and often has unintended consequences. I suggest you listen to what the health sector workers are saying about the logic of removing mandates – or are you tone deaf to their knowledge and experience?

          • Yeah, i’ll listen to the health sector about removing my right to travel or enter the country.

            After that, i’ll call my plumber to ask what voltage my Tesla needs to charge.

            Why stop there? We can all go to McDonalds and ask for 3/8″ galv nuts.

            How about we listen to human rights experts about human rights and not let authoritarian Doctors decide that we dont need them anymore (only doctors paid by the govt, not any independent ones who disagree)

            • Human rights. The rights to burn down children’s playgrounds, throw tents and chairs and gas bottles on those fires, those right?

            • Glen, as it is a virus causing a pandemic it seems entirely appropriate that the health sector’s advice is exactly what is required. The rest of your answer is a meaningless rant.

            • “Oh, look how cute that dog is!” Victoria University student Caitlin says, walking with her friend Jacinta past Victoria University’s Law School campus, where police are piling up tents and locking the gates. They can hardly believe it. “It’s absolutely crazy. It’s a little bit funny because they’re kind of brain-dead. I kind of understood the anti-mandate, but this is not a peaceful protest.”Just before, a male protester had yelled at them to go and masturbate. “He said ‘That’s all you’re good for,’ and told us ‘We are what’s wrong with Wellington’,” Jacinta said. “I’m just like, a bit dumbfounded.”

              If that’s the quality of protester you support Glen, then good luck to you.

    • Andrew that is over simplification. The judge even indicated the mandate he was ruling on was not formed on the same basis as the others

      • Yes you needed to read the full outcome of the case, not hand picked snippets because it suits your narrative Andrew.

    • [It could all have been avoided if Ardern had removed the vaccine mandates – you know – the one the High Court said breeched the Human Rights Act.

      So this is entirely on her.]

      This may be so, but it’s not a valid argument against the mandates. You need to look at the whole picture: the mandates were there for a purpose.

    • all it would have taken is for everybody to get a vaccine then mandates wouldnt have been necessary but some gullible idiots got all their information off facebook about vaccines and shut themselves down.
      Graphene Oxide was the favourite theme, experimental drug, nano tech ect ect yet graphine oxide is just the building blocks of graphite – carbon which is in everything we eat, drink, wear, live in ect ect
      Me, I looked up that information on google, drilled down the the spanish study and the guy who did the study admitted he was given the sample by somebody anonymous and he didnt know what was in the bottle but tested it anyway and concluded it had a structure like graphene oxide. It was like the misinformation freaks gave him this vial to test so the only conclusion he could make was that it contained graphene oxide so the misinformation freaks just changed a few words and suddenly graphene oxide was in the vaccine and contained nanotechnology and it was experimental.

  6. Well said Chris.
    Endless thanks to the Police and Fire personnel (and their families), all of them the heroes of the day.

      • Three X’s. If you think that that was police violence then you have lead a very sheltered little life, or you are nutty as the nutters down at Parliament.

        • pepper spraying peaceful protesters is out of line. The police escalated it then cry when people respond

          • Well they didn’t spray peaceful protesters as they had left already, so already your argument is debunked.

            Hating on police is on you.

      • Would be a lot more violent in the USA, China or Russia, I think the NZ Police were very restrained IMHO.

  7. Tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spraying media who had livestreams. The police were the aggressors. Protesters were peaceful.

    • [Tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spraying media who had livestreams. The police were the aggressors. Protesters were peaceful.]
      What did they expect: to have their Christmas presents delivered to them at parliament grounds when the time came?

      • Mikesh – Christmas presents in Wellington, where mail is delivered randomly by immigrants on scooters ? They’d be lucky. The Easter bunny won’t dare go there this year either. Dunno about the tooth fairy though.


    • Once attacked, people respond in a fight or flight way. It is natural. If they werent attacked they wouldnt defend themselves.

      How many rocks and pitchforks were used on Monday? Or Tuesday? Or any of the 21 preceding days?

      I wonder what changed yesterday? Oh thats right, tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, hoses ……..

      • They could have just gone home when asked. But they entrenched themselves so provoked the police, oh and by the way rubber bullets were used later in the evening and wasn’t on the live stream. So are you believing media now?
        Put simply the police held there ground and the rioters threw missiles and set fires as seen in the live stream.

      • Bollocks. It’s not fight or flight at all. There is nothing that says self defense when you throw a f’ing great paving brick at someone. They were coordinating to rip up loads of bricks to throw. Setting fire to things is not self defense either. There was way more fight than flight.

        My understanding is the sponge (not rubber) bullets came later not in the afternoon. You have been so one eyed on this in terms of any ‘protester’ provocation of bystanders and residents I was half expecting you to say the bricks threw themselves.

        I would put money on the fact that a most of those anti mandate protesters that turned up initially would not have thrown bricks full stop. That goes for the tin foil brigade as well. I would also bet a good number yesterday were more than keen for a bit of biff because that’s who they are. You can debate what life has done to them to put that chip on their shoulder (because its a whole lot more than mandates) but it doesn’t change what they were there for.

        • But but but Wheel, Glen said it was on Facebook Trisha Lee whoever the hell that is. Given the violence of the rioters I’d say the were very fortunate they were only sponge bullets

      • paint bombs, makeshift explosives, fire extinguishers, large wooden sheets with handles on the back, all the protest camping gear were all used by protesters as projectiles, this wasnt a one way street like you want to portray

  9. Just get the feeling that the state has won the battle but is losing the war. All the issues remain unresolved and the “river of filth” will be dispersed for now but regroup stronger and more resilient next time.

    Is this Arderns and her Labour party “deplorables” moment?

    • It’s by design. One (slightly larger) group of Kiwi’s watch MSM and believe the lies from the podium of truth.

      One group ignores the Media and Podium because of PTSD from 2 years of announcements restricting their freedoms.

      Its an in group/out group now, with the out group being “not us” as Jacinda said yesterday. People will keep repeating that the out group is “the minority” as if human rights do not apply to minorities.

      It is deliberate and a Marxist technique to divide and rule

      • “One group ignores the Media and Podium because of PTSD from 2 years of announcements restricting their freedoms.”
        FFS get over yourself! Glen. You do not get PTSD from health measures designed to prevent mass death and the complete breakdown of society due to a killer virus! Read some History. Gawd almighy Glen you are so ignorant. You want PTSD? try the Watersiders strikes , The Depression, Massey’s Cossacks ,1981 Tour . Viscous ongoing State Violence that polarized generations. Read and learn and FFS stop fucking whinging.

      • Glen – you muppet – Divide and Rule has been practised for millenia. Marxist? So is your fat aunt.

        • [People will keep repeating that the out group is “the minority” as if human rights do not apply to minorities.]

          Human rights are not a matter of minorities versus majorities; they depend on reason.

          In this situation reason does not seem to favour the minorities’ position.

      • Of course the issues haven’t been resolved.
        When you have a population dumb enough to believe the conspiracy theory stuff, which hasn’t the wherewithal to appreciate and respect true learning and knowledge, there are issues.

        Funny thing is they’ll defer to mechanics and technicians about their cars and computers and won’t say they no more than them.

        • Very true Peter, try putting tinfoil on your radiator to keep it cool or doing open heart self surgery because you know better than a specialist.

        • It isn’t about conspiracy theories – it’s economics. There was unjust economic outcomes for those that didn’t get vaccinated. Not getting vaccinated should not result in complete loss of income or business – that is too extreme a consequence – it is unwarranted harsh treatment.
          In the context of a public health crisis – fair enough – but now with over 90% if the population vaccinated these people should be compensated financially. Just like all of us where during the lockdown. A political and economic solution was needed – as always – to resolve genuine economic grievances.
          Instead we all sneered and jeered at the crazies. This is not a good ending to the situation.

        • This sounds like pure projection to me. Speaking as a registered nurse of 30 years with a masters degree (ie someone who can understand the science and has bothered to follow it), if you believe Bloomfield/Ardern/MSM’s version of “the science” then you have been majorly gaslit.

          • I’d rather be gaslit by Bloomfield than by someone self gaslighting or self promoting Lilth. You let your profession down sadly.

            Bloomfields career I’m sure matches yours…

            Bloomfield completed several years of clinical work and from 1996[9] specialised in public health medicine,[10] concentrating on non-communicable diseases.[11][12] In 1997, he graduated from the University of Auckland with a Master of Public Health degree, with first-class honours.[13]

            Between 2004 and 2006, Bloomfield was the Ministry of Health’s acting director of public health.[14][15] From 2006 to 2010, he was the ministry’s chief public health adviser.[9]

            Ashley Bloomfield being interviewed by the press after the 2020 Parliamentary rugby match (children in the background are holding up large home-made posters that say “THANK YOU DOCTOR BLOOMFIELD”)
            Bloomfield after the 2020 Parliamentary rugby match

            Bloomfield (right) elbow bumps with Michael Holdsworth at Government House, Wellington, in October 2020, while Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne look on
            From late 2010 to late 2011, based at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Bloomfield worked on non-communicable disease prevention and control with a global focus.[11] From 2012 to 2015, he held leading positions across district health boards with Capital & Coast District, Hutt Valley, and Wairarapa. From 2015 to 2018, Bloomfield was chief executive at Hutt Valley District Health Board.[16] In the first half of 2018, Bloomfield was seconded to the Capital & Coast District Health Board where he was interim chief executive. Since 11 June 2018, he has been the chief executive of the country’s Ministry of Health and the country’s Director-General of Health.[1][3][11] Since he started as the ministry’s Chief Executive he has attended a leadership programme at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.[9]

            Colleagues describe Bloomfield as “measured, methodical, calm and sensible”.[9] Former health reporter Tess Nichol, writing for the American online magazine Slate, described him as “New Zealand’s current obsession, an unlikely heartthrob, a mild-mannered health care hero”.[17] Former prime minister, Geoffrey Palmer, remarked about Bloomfield: “It is a long time since a public servant has become so well-known.”[18] Perhaps in part due to the relative effectiveness of the COVID-19 measures taken by the New Zealand Government,

  10. Yesterday was huge for NZ, much like the day Ranfurly Park was stormed in’81. It will have many ramifications.
    I can’t help feeling that the majority of those protesting were there for genuine reasons. This Government has only delivered for the well heeled.

  11. Yes well until next time….. when after these protesters or self styled martyrs, freedom fighters, rebels go back to the nooks and crannies they came from in AO/NZ some of whom will be released on bail and when they meet up with friends, family, or whoever is willing to listen, will regale them with there time in Wellington when they nearly had that b**** Ardern and her gummermint f***** and they nearly took over parliament and if it wasn’t for …………
    Unfortunately me thinks this protest has created some very potentially dangerous people and do hope that a watchful eye will be kept on them in one way or another.

  12. The core of the problem are the mandates which were declared illegal by the court and it seems that the Government wanted the protesters removed before their announcement of scrapping the mandates. They forgot that you always harvest what you sow.

    • The court dismissed the mandates being applicable only to the two specific groups who applied to it, on specific grounds; it wasn’t a general dismissal.

    • ACD, The Government will remove the mandates when advised by health modellers that they are no longer achieving their intended purpose, it really is as simple as that.
      What the government has ‘sowed’ is a response that is limiting hospital admissions and doing its best to keep supply chains open. What part of that do you have a problem with?

  13. As a protestor, striker, picketer and occupier since the 70s on so many issues and causes that some escape my memory, I am familiar with some of what the Wellington occupiers experienced.

    Gaining support, putting up with public opprobrium, finance, shelter, media liaison, sanitation, internal matters to resolve, strategy and tactics to sort out and the hardest thing of all–how and when to end an action.

    These Convoy occupiers by their diverse nature lacked a class analysis, and robust decision making and focus, so went down in a shower of shit as they were bound to.

    The fact is if I had mounted a live in protest at that venue I would not have expected to last even one night on Parliament grounds without receiving a good kicking from the state forces!

  14. At the time of the Tianamen Square massacre I asked a friend what they thought would have happened if a protest sat outside the seat of power in Washington or Wellington? Now we know.
    Tianamen 7 weeks 100 dead.
    Washington 6 hours 5 dead.
    Wellington 3 weeks 0 dead.

    Is that a win? Good job kiwis.

  15. Had she the courage and fortitude to meet with them on the steps of Parliament. All of this could have been avoided. But no. Her vacuous self-imagined image was more important to her and probably conscious of a pending poll result too.

    When will this little girl grow up and mature? The pumpkin carriage doesn’t stay pristine for much longer. It’ll turn into a turd before long.

    • Kia ora, 100%. She should remember that 30% of the population support the protesters (I presume the same 30% that prior to the vaccines being rolled out told the pollsters that they probably or definitely would not be getting the vaccine). She should remember how her revolting role model Helen Clarke lost her last election. She refused to meet the foreshore and seabed hikoi. She arrogantly went to visit a sheep that had become a media sensation instead and declaimed that it was better company then the protestors. Turned out she needed those peoples votes next election, Tariana Turia got them instead, and would not go into coalition with her (or Labour ever again).

  16. These people had every right to protest, BUT, then go home. While they might believe Covid is not a threat, world deaths show the opposite and they needed to be moved on (and should have been quicker), to protect the neighbourhoods and people who did not agree with them who lived/worked in the area.

    • You sound terrified. Maybe go and get another booster? If i give you my health number, you can say you are me and i can keep my job when boosters become mandatory

      • Nut jobs are annoying. Mobs of nut jobs and the realisation how the NZ brain drain is playing out with the tinfoil/5G nutters helping other nutters, combined with a global politically motivated effort to ignite nut jobs around the world to disrupt, could be described as chilling.

        Not many would believe that the capital riots would happen in the US…. but here we are.

        5,964,630 deaths of Covid around the world so far. With only 56 Covid deaths in NZ reality has not set in, and some vocal Kiwis seem more interested in their holidays than avoiding Covid and long Covid statistics in NZ.

  17. Glen – are you making excuses for “protesters” (rioters) firing fire extinguisher foam and paving bricks at the police? Police who didn’t even wear hats or helmets?
    The “protesters” were breaking the law from early days and even had no common decency towards the people whose city they invaded. They were rioters by every definition. So what would you have done?
    No criticism unless it’s constructive, eh?

  18. Would be a lot more violent in the USA, China or Russia, I think the NZ Police were very restrained IMHO.

    • protesting the mandates is a legit protest as seen by how police and army mandates have been overturned

      but of course the Gov will use this incident as an excuse to bar the citizens from their right to protest at parliament

  19. Wow…how gone in the head are people when they think they are repressed in NZ. How gone in the head are people when they think it was a peaceful protest. How gone in the head is anyone who thinks it’s ok for people to act like thugs. Actions have consequences and they scum were shown the consequences yesterday…..and hopefully for many weeks to come via the court system. If you don’t like how the country’s run…leave! I could recommend Russia…..where you will find out what oppression is!

    • Today, “There were around 983,000 people in the country who had not received their booster.”

      Now there’s a pool of voters up for grabs!
      They are looking for a home

  20. Time to kill off this crap about “freedom” once and for all.
    The Ardern government’s management of the pandemic has created a relative increase in freedom – compared to what would have occurred without such sensible public health measures. Through 2020 and 2021 the right to life (freedom from a deadly virus) was correctly prioritised over the right to freedom of movement and the freedom to endanger other citizens by remaining in an unvaccinated state.
    Now that Omicron is known to cause less severe disease – that calculus has shifted and freedom of movement is restored, just as vaccine mandates will soon be removed.
    This confusion over freedom comes from the erroneous assumption that freedom is already mystically present and innate in all individuals – and that the state can only take it away. In reality, freedom is collectively constructed every day – it is socially negotiated. A democratic state can create freedom that did not previously exist (e,g. the old age pension), every bit as much as it can remove it. Good governments create lots of freedom for lots of people.

  21. Well and thoughtfully written Chris. Freedom is something that I and many others want for our Parliament and as citizens. I don’t agree to having people invade public areas whether they are land speculators or trouble-and-strife speculators. I was prepared for them to make a case, show concern, present a petition, but to treat our Parliament as a low-grade camping ground, was totally unreasonable and treasonable. The idea that our government should not pass a mandate that all averagely healthy people should be vaccinated to prevent the spread of an unusually infectious disease, was using modern science against ancient foes of unhealthy, living, invisible foes thatin the past would have been blamed on witches by the same sort of mob we have seen.

    My reading recently has been partly on Philosophy. There are some great little books available for the learner like me, and how many other unschooled philosophers?
    Home – Introducing Books – Graphic Guides
    Unique, comic book-style guides to humankind’s biggest ideas & thinkers. The Middle Ages. Eleanor Janega, Neil Max Emmanuel.
    eg at betterbooks $19

    (Icon Books…_(book_series)#Practical_Guides
    I note an example of how co-operative movements can move sideways and down when a faction interprets co-operation with democracy, democracy with freedom, freedom with certitude of rightness of individual action, and some of the publishing co-operative sold some of the rights. The co-operative was shortly disbanded.)

    And I have been rereading the story of a British resistance fighter working with the French in WW2. She, and the French knew, how important it is to be committed to your country if trying to hold to established principles. The Resistance were acting to control Nazis, dodging Gestapo and analysing the character of all strangers met. And working hard physically and mentally, and putting up with unreason from compatriots, who might unwittingly reveal your identity to the Gestapo.
    image.png Moondrop to Gascony Walters, Anne-Marie Published by Pan 165, British, 1955

    You couldn’t be airy-fairy about your beliefs; you had to commit yourselves to the fight against the enemy and to support each other, and when you didn’t get support, understanding and tolerance for others lacking in wisdom and strength of will and mind had to be to the fore. I can see that situation shaping up in NZ, and have found a few times here that peoples’ principles were of lower quality than expected. And had to work to maintain my own., so not perfect.

    The book refers to the French being split between those standing against the Nazis, and the Vichy collaborators with their cruel armed force, the Milice.
    *The Milice française (French Militia)… was a political paramilitary organization created on 30 January 1943 by the Vichy regime (with German aid) to help fight against the French Resistance during World War II.
    (The interesting thing was that the Nazis, despite the vicious way they behaved to so many, had their own code of behaviour. They despised the Milice for ratting on their own countrymen and women although it was to the Nazis’ advantage and they encouraged it.)

  22. Add this to your history lesson C.T.
    Big Norm Kirk let ‘tough guy cop’ Gideon Tait loose in Chch on new years eve 1973, remember it well;

    The first of twenty-five police cars arrived in Kerrs Road at 9:45 p.m. The men were greeted immediately with catcalls and abuse and a shower of bottles and bricks. As more cars began to arrive the bikies retreated into the house, barricaded themselves in and turned off the lights.

    When any policeman approached, more bottles and bricks came hurtling through the air. With a loud hailer I told them they were under arrest and should surrender. More missiles and abuse were the only answer. I decided that it had become necessary to use tear gas. I was not going to risk serious injury to my men by attempting to storm the house. We fired in two canisters.

    Some of the bikies started a fire in part of the house and my men put it out with a garden hose before two fire engines arrived.That was the scene as, singly and in groups, their eyes streaming, eighty-one occupants of the flat staggered out on to the street. We had already evacuated the residents of nearby houses and had traffic officers block off the street to the public. Some of the bikies were still ready to fight. There were scuffles in which some of my men were punched and kicked before they had them all handcuffed.

    We sat them in the middle of the road, with the patrol car lights shining on them, as police photographers took pictures. The bikies were a dejected looking bunch. I felt a lot of satisfaction as I watched them sitting there in the rain, some of them still groggy from the whiffs of tear gas, surrounded by policemen and dogs. They were like whipped cats, totally demoralised.

    A total of seventy-seven bikies and four of their female friends were taken in the raid. They were convicted by a magistrate but, on appeal, were acquitted by the Supreme Court on a technicality. That was unfortunate but I was not too upset. The police had really won. The moral victory came out on the road that night of 31st December. This time the bikies had defied the police and lost.

  23. Incredible; so many authoritarian comments on here backing up Ardern’s decision to send in the cops, & over on kiwiblog it’s the exact opposite. What the fucks going on in our extremely liberalized failed state?

  24. The young lady at the end of your story I think was somebody I was following on Instagram, she randomly started posting on her account from the protest about the EMF meter and that concrete block, I said a few choice words about how bloody stupid she was and then unfollowed her.
    Found this whole protest useful to clean out my friends list, weed out the dumb ones so to speak, I want conversations with intelligent people capable of speaking through their own experiences rather than information that was handed to them on social media, small minds have no place in my life.
    Social media is the problem, you might have noticed how effective it was used during the referendum against cannabis, they also used the old school method of using newspapers, sure got the boomers sorted.
    Then we have Covid start and everybody stuck at home and was around the time all that 5G nonsense started and people were trying to set cell towers alight, try correct these people and all they do is laugh at you and tell you to do some research….
    Now we had covid back in Auckland because Aucklanders couldnt bloody stay home so back into lockdown they went and became a captive audience again for every nut job on facebook to spread their misinformation.
    The problem with Facebook is all these suggested links, sponsored links ect, the algorithms and AI behind Facebook send those things to you based and what interests you so if you start looking up vaccines before you know it you’re being bombarded with links, The zuck doesnt care, clicks earn him revenue.
    When this protest happened we saw a wide range of interest groups all bundled together, the actors behind this protest gathered all the different groups together and fed them all misinformation against mandates yet most of it seemed more anti vax and anti mandate was just a side effect, but it was enough to get people up in arms and a convoy was organised. Then during the entire protest they were all instructed to be anti media because the actors dont want the truth filtering through as it made their lies look bad so basically it became a situation where they were feeding each other real time misinformation that was self perpetuating, there was no way other than police action that would make this stop.
    Something seriously needs to be done about how misinformation is spread on social media, solve that one and this wont happen again.

  25. Just going to post this here – An initial look at the Pfizer documents (the one the company didn’t want releasing for 75 years so required a court order).

    We are already in a low-trust environment in the West with media and government (WMD, Bailouts for the rich, Russiagate, wealth gap, etc, etc). This has only just started, Pfizer has 8 months to release their documentation, assume the worst will be last.

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