Brian and Hannah Tamaki arrested after anti-mandate protest

Source: 1News

Brian and Hannah Tamaki have been arrested following the weekend’s anti-mandate protest in Auckland.

Brian Tamaki spoke at a rally in Auckland Domain on Saturday.

People gathered outside Auckland Central Police Station, where Brian Tamaki was asked to report.

Police said a 63-year-old man and 60-year-old woman have been arrested.

The man has been charged with failing to comply with a Covid-19 order and breaching bail conditions.

The woman has been charged with two counts of failing to comply with a Covid-19 order.

Brian Tamaki is due to appear before Auckland District Court by video link later today, while Hannah Tamaki will be released on police bail to appear at a later date.

A small group of people have gathered outside Mt Eden Prison in support of the pair.

Around 100 people gathered outside Auckland Central Police Station on Tuesday morning, after the pair had been asked to report there.

Many of those gathered could be seen wearing masks, with some holding signs bearing "no vax mandates" and "free Tamakis".

A New Zealand flag and one with a silver fern on it were waved in the crowd.

Those in the crowd could be heard chanting ahead of Tamaki's arrival: "What do we want? Freedom!," and "When do we want it? Now!"

Exiting a black SUV about 10.20am, Tamaki was met with applause from the crowd.

Addressing supporters and the media before meeting with police, he began a 10 minute address with: "It's a bit unfortunate and sad we have to end up today at the central police station trying to defend myself, which I am basically innocent".

"I'm quite relaxed today because I have done nothing wrong."

Tamaki said he was "innocent" and "not guilty of anything" as he had kept to "all the Covid requirements" during his Saturday appearance.

His appearances at earlier rallies have led to organisers, including himself, facing charges. His bail conditions included not attending protests.

With about seven police officers guarding both main entrances to the station, Tamaki said police were "adamant" and had "doggedly" targeted him.

"I’m here again. But you know what? I think this is a national issue today," he remarked.

"On the chopping block it must be the right to protest, the freedom of speech, because if that’s what they’ve got me here for that’s a very important issue to all New Zealanders and the right to gather.

"Now I don’t know about you New Zealand, but I think this Government has done more damage to New Zealand than the pandemic has."

Tamaki's wife Hannah Tamaki stood next to him the whole time, offering the odd smile and wave to their supporters.

Brian Tamaki said while some people might think the looming traffic light system was "freedom", it was the segregation of people, he felt.

He told those gathered Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was not creating a New Zealand he wanted to be a part of.

Tamaki remarked there were going to be"very dark days" ahead unless people got back their freedoms, remarking freedom was a "gift by God".