Sir Russell Coutts heading to Parliament anti-mandate protests

Source: 1News

Decorated Kiwi sailor Sir Russell Coutts has announced he will join anti-mandate protesters outside Parliament in Wellington.

Russell Coutts.

The America's Cup winner said he will join the protests next week as he is opposed to vaccination mandates.

“It's the first time I've ever felt compelled to join a protest,” Sir Russell said in a Facebook post to his personal page.

“I'm also strongly opposed to the ever increasing erosion of our human rights and the growing limitations on our freedom of choice. I believe in having the freedom to be able to question so-called 'expert' opinion.”

Sir Russell is an Olympic gold medallist and three-time America's Cup winner, as skipper. He was appointed a knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit in August 2009.

Read more: Violent messages among misinformation at Parliament protest

The sailor, who said he was vaccinated, also listed rules enacted as part of the Covid response that he felt were irrational.

These included rules around managed isolation, mask use and gathering limits at the Red level.

“I'm against discrimination and the 'them and us' society that is being promoted by our current political leaders,” he said.

“I'm against creating different rights, laws and privileges based on race.”

In his post, he also hit out at the media and said he believed some had been paid to promote “Government policy, propaganda and spin”.

It comes as Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard has approached all political party leaders to try and come up with an agreement to talk with protesters camped outside Parliament.

The agreement suggests a dialogue with protesters - if they agreed remove structures and clear the streets.