More arrests over Harbour Bridge protest where police 'assaulted'

Source: 1News

Police have arrested two more people after Saturday's "dangerous" protest on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Officers surround a protest vehicle on a road near the Harbour Bridge on May 21.

Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan said, as of Friday evening, 13 people had been arrested, with 21 charges laid along with 26 infringement notices.

She said the charges related to driving offences, obstruction, disorderly behaviour and assaulting police.

Hassan said the infringement notices were issued for "numerous" driving offences, including disrupting traffic.

“Police had made it clear to the group that any pedestrians on the Harbour Bridge or motorway was unlawful and would result in consequences,” Hassan said.

“Police permitted the group to travel in vehicles in a convoy at a speed that was deemed safe and minimised disruption to other road users.

“The group chose not to abide by those requirements and, as a result, they will face the consequences for their unlawful behaviour.

“The actions of the group last week were dangerous, and this enforcement action sends a clear message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated."

Last week, Hassan labelled the protesters as "incredibly selfish" and added they exhibited "absolute stupidity".

She said at the time that numerous officers had been assaulted but there were no injuries.

Two southbound lanes on State Highway 1, and the Onewa on-and-off ramps in both directions, were closed as a result of the protest last week.

Traffic on Auckland's North Shore built up as a result of the protest, with two southbound lanes on the Harbour Bridge closed for a brief time.

Social media posts suggested that organisers of a protest against the Government's Three Waters reforms had planned to cross the bridge on foot.