Brian Tamaki leads new protest around Auckland streets

Source: 1News

Brian Tamaki has again led a Freedom and Rights Coalition protest march from Auckland Domain, blocking traffic around parts of the city on Saturday afternoon.

Tamaki is also claiming there will be another Parliament protest later this month.

According to police, around 500 people congregated at Auckland Domain on Saturday. By about 1.50pm, they'd made their way past the front of Auckland City Hospital, taking a left down Symonds St.

Hospital patients could be seen pulling their middle fingers as the protesters went by, marching on Park Rd.

St John said traffic has been heavy but they "haven't had any significant issues" with ambulances getting through.

The march looped close to Newmarket before taking a left turn back towards Auckland Domain.

The group re-entered the domain around 2:40pm.

Police said in a statement on Saturday afternoon that the crowd is "well-behaved."

"No arrests have been made, nor have any infringement notices been issued," they said.

"Police will complete a review phase in the coming weeks to determine if any follow-up action is required."

Earlier in the day, Waka Kotahi closed the Khyber Pass and Symonds St on and off-ramps. These were used by the protesters at a previous march.

Destiny Church leader Tamaki, who is linked to the Freedom and Rights Coalition, said protesters wouldn't be blocking the motorway.

Tamaki said people were "courageous" for turning up to protest the "worst" Government and "most cowardly" Opposition. He also complained about the media.

He called for people to join a convoy to Parliament from next week. He said the convoy would start in the Far North.

Once the group made it to Parliament, they would ask the opposition to lodge a vote of no confidence in the Government, he said.

At about 1.30pm, after Tamaki finished a speech that was about 40 minutes long, the crowd started moving towards the Auckland Domain entrance closest to Auckland City Hospital at Grafton.

A stall had been set up at the domain to try and get people to join an "umbrella political party" that would unite "political parties and freedom movement".

To register as a party, an organisation needed at least 500 financial members.

Protesters at Auckland Domain on August 6.

Tamaki told 1News he wouldn't be standing as a political candidate. He didn't want to name the other organisations that could make up the umbrella group.

Inspector Jim Wilson said police were monitoring the areas protesters were expected to gather, including around Auckland Domain.

Wilson said police were asking people to be patient on the roads because of possible traffic delays near the domain.

"Police recognise the public’s right to protest peacefully and lawfully but we will take action where required," Wilson said.

"We are actively monitoring this event to ensure the protest activity is carried out in a safe manner for all involved, including members of the public.

Police at Auckland protest.

"Any unsafe or dangerous behaviour occurring throughout the event will be followed up by police and appropriate action taken."

Police told 1News they'd been in touch with the protest organisers to "discuss potential routes and plans".

"However, questions about specific route plans are best directed to protest organisers."

Police blocking the State Hightway 1 Khyber Pass off-ramp amid an anti-Government protest on August 6.

Buses are also being detoured as a result of the coalition's protest.

Damien De Ment, a QAnon conspiracy theorist, was spotted at the protest.

A comparatively smaller counter-protest had also gathered at the Auckland Domain. However, they said they had no plans to stop anyone from marching onto the motorway if they wished to.

"That isn't our job. We are not looking for a confrontation, but to show that a diverse and inclusive community has a positive message for New Zealand," 'FARC off Brian' counter-protest organiser Mark Graham said.

One person told 1News said they were counter-protesting because they "hate fascists" and wanted the coalition protesters "to f**k off".

"They've disrupted the motorway and people in Newmarket are extremely angry."

Another counter-protester said: "I support protest [but] I don't support protesting that gets in people's way and stops business and community from going about their normal business.

"It's small minority here that's getting in the way of everyone else."

Police have formed a line between the two groups to keep them apart.

Line of police between coalition protesters and counter-protesters in Auckland Domain, August 6.

It comes two weeks after about 1000 anti-Government protesters, led by Destiny Church leader Tamaki, stopped traffic on the busy State Highway 1.

Police said they "anticipated" charges would be laid against the people who took part in the protest, which shut down the motorway.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the time walking on the motorway was risky.

READ MORE: Auckland's Goff slams Brian Tamaki-led protest

"Everybody's got the right to protest, but nobody has the right to break the law and Mr Tamaki time and again seems to show the belief of self-entitlement that he is above the law. Of course, he is not," Goff said.