Three charged over Auckland anti-lockdown protest

Source: 1News

Three people have been charged and will appear in court over an anti-lockdown protest outside TVNZ in Auckland’s CBD yesterday. 

A police spokesperson told 1 NEWS the group included two men, aged 49 and 36. Both are facing three charges each and are due to appear in the Auckland District Court on Thursday. 

Two of the charges are under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and the third charge is under the Search and Surveillance Act 2021, the spokesperson said. 

A 52-year-old woman is also due to appear in the Auckland District Court on August 25. She faces one charge under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and one charge under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

About 50 people pitched up at the corner of Victoria and Hobson streets at noon on Wednesday, and expressed “concern” over the Alert Level 4 lockdown and told people to "resist" it.

The event lasted about 43 minutes before police began arresting people. 

Police made four arrests, which included two men who are well-known for spreading Covid-19 misinformation online. That was despite both men’s pleas to the crowd to protect them from law enforcement. 

One yelled “everyone cluster, please, now they’re about to take me” and “please protect me” as he was taken away by police.

The Prime Minister said at her Covid-19 update in Wellington on Wednesday she was "disappointed" there were some New Zealanders choosing to put others at risk.

"I don't want to let the action of small numbers actually characterise everyone, because that's just not the case," she said.

Penalties under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act include a $4000 fine or up to six months in jail. 

The Search and Surveillance Act is also punishable by imprisonment.