Commissioner: Force to clear protest wouldn’t be acceptable to most

Source: 1News

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says the level of force required to clear protesters from central Wellington wouldn’t be acceptable to most New Zealanders.

In an interview with Q+A's Jack Tame, he says the crowd is diverse, with a mix of peaceful protesters and a "fringe" who are making violent threats to MPs and journalists.

He said the option of police taking enforcement action would have far-reaching consequences.

“Police would have to move in, using batons, probably using tear gas, to clear that crowd off the grounds. it's likely to lead to extended confrontation,” he said.

Coster said police currently didn't have the emergency powers to stop protesters from bringing more marquees and equipment to the occupation.

You can see the full interview with Coster tomorrow morning on Q+A at 9am on TVNZ1.