Protesters gather in Hamilton as Ardern visits

Wilson Longhurst
Source: 1News

Protesters have gathered in central Hamilton outside an event the Prime Minister is visiting on Tuesday.

Protesters gather outside an event in Hamilton awaiting the arrival of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The small but vocal group of around 30 is protesting various pandemic measures taken by the Government, as well as media coverage of Covid-19.

The event is a sod-turning for the Waikato Regional Theatre, and will be attended by dozens of stakeholders and officials including Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate.

In her short speech, Jacinda Ardern offered a quip to the protesters who had been chanting "stick your vaccine mandate up your a**".

“Their singing’s not bad but their chants need a bit of work,” she said to laughter from the crowd she was addressing.

Ardern was earlier welcomed to Te Kōhao Health in Hamilton where she was shown how vaccination efforts are tracking among Māori.

More than 16,000 people have been vaccinated by Te Kōhao Health.

The Prime Minister’s visit comes the day after she announced Waikato would move to the Orange setting when New Zealand enters the new traffic light system this week, despite persistent cases in the region.

Eighty-three per cent of people in Waikato are fully vaccinated, while 91 per cent have had one dose.

Sixty-seven per cent of Māori in Waikato are fully vaccinated.