Wellington students launch petition amid reports of intimidation

Source: 1News

Students at Victoria University of Wellington said they have been subject to harassment and intimidation by anti-mandate protesters and have launched a petition to have them removed from a campus near Parliament.

Ralph Zambrano, president of the student union, told 1News students have a right to access their campus without the risk of harm.

He said he's spoken with students who said they have been spat on by protesters and yelled at for wearing face masks.

"I know this isn't every single protester, some of them are peaceful and they are just speaking to the impacts of Covid-19 on them, but it's that small group of the protesters who are putting our students and our staff members, our community at risk."

"We've heard from students that they want to see peaceful action being made to relocate the protesters away from campus."

The university's business and law schools are near Parliament, with protesters using grass on campus.

Students have started a petition, "Give VUW Students Their Campus Back" which has more than 3000 signatures.

Zambrano told 1News the petition is evidence that students want the issue to be resolved, "they [the students] are paying thousands of dollars in fees, so they should have every right to access a quality education in person."

Anti-mandate protesters have remained outside Parliament in Wellington for 11 days.