National security meeting to be held over Parliament protest

Source: 1News

A number of military vehicles will be stationed in Wellington on Thursday, with the anti-Covid-19 vaccine mandate protest at Parliament into its tenth day.

Four Army vehicles travelled to Wellington from Linton and Waiouru on Wednesday but the Defence Force say they're pre-positioned if required.

No decision has been made around their use to assist in the towing operation of protesters' vehicles.

So far around a dozen vehicles have been moved voluntarily from the streets surrounding Parliament, but none towed.

On Wednesday police thanked "influencers" for helping get some of the protesters' vehicles moved.

But on Thursday around 450 vehicles are clogging the streets.

"The National Security System is holding a meeting with a group of chief executives on Thursday to discuss the protest," a spokesperson from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said in a statement.

"The meeting will ensure there’s a shared understanding of the situation and that all risks and potential implications have been identified," the statement said.

"The National Security System is coordinated by the National Security Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but Police remain the lead agency responding to the protest."

Speaking to RNZ on just before 6am on Thursday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the protesters have a right to express their views and have made their point, but it's time to leave the area.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Christopher Luxon condemned ACT leader David Seymour's meeting with protesters.