Anti-mandate protesters agree to leave Pukekawa/Auckland Domain

Anti-mandate protesters at the Pukekawa/Auckland Domain have agreed to leave the site after five days.

Police and Auckland Council officers arrived at the occupation on Thursday for a second time, with 25 police and 20 council officers on site.

“This morning, those remaining on the site have agreed to leave, Auckland Council officers, with police support, are now working with them to remove the remaining camping equipment,” said Auckland Council’s Craig Hobbs.

“Council officers have engaged in further conversations with those occupying the Auckland Domain over the past few days.”

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* Covid-19: Eviction notices handed to anti-mandate protesters at Auckland Domain

Anti-mandate protesters are peacefully leaving Pukekawa/Auckland Domain after occupying it since Saturday.
Jason Dorday/Stuff

Anti-mandate protesters are peacefully leaving Pukekawa/Auckland Domain after occupying it since Saturday.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he had been in regular contact with police and Government to “ensure a successful resolution”.

“The right to protest is a fundamental part of our democracy, however that does not give anyone the right to consider themselves above the law,” Goff said.

“Nobody is entitled to camp on the Auckland Domain and to use their vehicles to obstruct access by other members of the public to a public space.”

The roads on the domain have reopened. Goff also acknowledged disruptions that local businesses had faced during the protest.

JASON DORDAY/STUFF

Police arrive at an anti-mandate occupation at Auckland Domain on Tuesday to serve immediate eviction notices.

A Stuff journalist on the site said cars are no longer parked at the domain and a drone is in the air.

The group was protesting against the Government’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates, among a number of smaller versions of the protest which had gathered on the grounds of Parliament, which have popped up around the country.

Many of the Auckland group’s belongings are being removed by council.

The group’s exit is less than 24 hours after police brought the Parliament protest to an end.

Auckland Council officers have been removing the protesters' items.

Jason Dorday/Stuff

Auckland Council officers have been removing the protesters’ items.

The Auckland gathering were involved in a hīkoi which saw around 3000 people cross the Auckland Harbor Bridge on Saturday.

The hīkoi ended at Victoria Park, with a group of people continuing on to the Domain and setting up tents.

Camping at the domain and parking on the grass are prohibited, resulting in Auckland Council officers handing out bylaw breach notices to the group on Tuesday.

Council officers, accompanied by police gave the group until midday Tuesday to remove tents and cars.

The anti-mandate protesters have been occupying the park since Saturday.

Jason Dorday/Stuff

The anti-mandate protesters have been occupying the park since Saturday.

However, on Thursday the protesters remained on site after Auckland Council’s Craig Hobbs agreed to give them more time.

The protesters had claimed mana whenua over the land and said they were not breaching the bylaw notices as there were no tent pegs on the ground.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, whose rohe (territory) the domain is in, said on Sunday that they did not support the occupation occupation of the land.

Chairwoman of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Marama Royal said those who genuinely cared for Tāmaki Makaurau’s community should do all they could prevent further spread of Covid-19.

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