Parliament grounds closed after protest comes to violent end

Source: 1News

The Government has closed Parliament's grounds until further notice, promising to recover the precinct after more than three weeks of occupation by anti-mandate protesters came to a dramatic end on Wednesday.

Early on Thursday morning the scene is quiet - a stark contrast to the violence that played out on Wednesday.

Chaos and violence erupted at Parliament on Wednesday as police went to remove protesters from the grounds on the 23rd day of the occupation that saw hundreds camped out on the front lawn.

Tents were lit on fire, with gas canisters creating loud explosions.

Police say 87 people were arrested on Wednesday for a range of offences including trespass, possession of restricted weapons and wilful damage.

Seven Police staff have required hospital treatment after projectiles such as bricks were thrown at them.

They have a range of minor and serious but non-life threatening injuries.

A spokesperson for Greater Wellington has confirmed that trains are running as per usual on Thursday morning. However, this will be under constant review to ensure the safety of travellers.

On Wednesday afternoon Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was "angry and also deeply saddened" as she watched the Parliament children's playground "destroyed".

She had a "deep admiration and thanks" to police, fire and emergency staff.

"We will not be defined by this. Our people will not be defined by a small handful of protesters.

Two Givealittle pages have been set up to fundraise for the recovery of Parliament’s grounds, one specifically for the playground created by Wellington City Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons. Thousands of dollars have already been donated.