Police are continuing to monitor a hikoi which commenced late yesterday to the Southern Auckland checkpoint border.
At around 11.45pm yesterday, a convoy of around 50 vehicles and approximately 100 people arrived at the Southern checkpoint border in Mercer.
“The group was directed by Police to a gravel area on Orams Road, to move away from blocking the road and disrupting traffic travelling through the checkpoint,” Police said in a statement this morning.
“Most of the protestors complied however two protest vehicles, including a bus, were parked on SH1 in the northern lanes with the drivers refusing to move them.”
Traffic has been diverted around these vehicles overnight and Police are currently engaging with the owners of the vehicles to move them off the road.
“At around 2.30am, some of the protestors have surged forward on foot from Orams Road, blocking the southern lane of SH1,” Police said.
“Police negotiators and our Iwi Liaison Officers were engaged to encourage them to move back off the road however they refused requests to move. Around 30 minutes later a Police line was used to move the protestors off the highway.”
Police say the group of protestors remain parked at the side of the road near the Southern checkpoints.
Traffic is still able to travel through the southern checkpoints, however some delays have been reported so motorists are advised to expect some delays, Police warned.
A number of protestors also turned up at the Northern checkpoints this morning, with more than 50 protestors arriving on the Northern side of the Te Hana checkpoint and around a dozen people on the southern side of that boundary.
“Police engaged with this group, supported by our Iwi Liaison officers and our partners from Ngāti Whātua at the checkpoint. The majority of this group have subsequently left the checkpoint area without issue.”
“Police are incredibly disappointed that this group of protestors have chosen to take this action. By carrying out non-essential travel they are putting themselves, our staff and the wider community at risk, while additional Police resources have had to be redeployed in order to monitor the movements of this group at the checkpoints,” Police said.