LIVE: Police Commisisoner provides protest update

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster. Photo. RNZ.

Police have made 60 arrests this morning as part of the pre-planned operation to remove protesters from Parliament.

Police have been descending on Parliament from early this morning, on day 23 of the occupation, and have begun towing larger vehicles, including campervans and trucks.

Watch the update here:

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is now speaking on the police actions today at the Parliament protest.

He says the operation is the result of significant planning and the commitment of several hundred staff from around the country.

"Our message to those who do not wish to be caught up in our operation is, please go home."

We were clear from the start that de-escalation was the preferred option, he says.

"We have reached the stage where protest leaders were either unable or unwilling to effect substantial change,” says Coster.

In the last week, we've seen a changing mix in the make-up of the crowd, he says.

"We have been concerned that those with good intentions have been outnumbered by those willing to use violence.

"The harm being done far outweighs any legitimate protest."

Coster says 36 arrests are confirmed, and 15 vehicles have been towed. They have been seized and will not be returned for now.

Three police officers are injured; two with abrasions and one with paint thrown in the face. They have been treated at the scene and are back in action, says Coster.

"Public safety is our priority," says Coster, adding that police will assist people wanting to leave peacefully.

Asked why it's taken so long for this action, Coster says they have been trying de-escalation. "Now, the balance has tipped."

There is no interest in anyone here in turning this into a fight, he says.

"We will continue this operation until this is completed."

Coster won't give a timeline, saying it will be when the job is done.


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Posted on 02-03-2022 18:32 | By morepork

Police have a right to defend themselves; better pepper spray than guns... You have obviously never lived in a REAL police state... I have. And I can tell you that our cops are paragons compared to some of the official brute squad thuggery that passes as a police force in some parts of the world. I’m not condoning aggression by our police, but I don’t believe it is their first line of action. A well trained, disciplined force, with true Democratic cultural values is not going to behave like that unless there is extreme provocation (throwing shit at them and spraying acid and paint in their eyes could fairly be considered "provocation". ) Imagine if they were armed and had to face that? (But then it probably wouldn’t happen...) We might have the odd bad apple, but mostly we can all be proud and supportive of our cops.

Rhetorical Question

Posted on 02-03-2022 16:12 | By Walbuck

Why didn’t they do this at Ihumātao That lastest around 4 months of occupation


Posted on 02-03-2022 15:38 | By Ladradog

I don’t condone in any way what they are doing, but your comment about ordinary people made me laugh. In what way are these protestors in any way not ordinary? Certainly, a number of professional rabble-rousers have joined in, but the original protesters were just ordinary people with an apparent axe to grind.


Posted on 02-03-2022 13:00 | By an_alias

What utter rubbish from Police, we need an urgent investigation into the Police tactics. Is it Ok to Pepper spray non-violent people ? Is this the Police we want ? We want to de-escalate so we sent in the big boys to punch and pepper spray people.

at last

Posted on 02-03-2022 12:11 | By dumbkof2

about time the authorities did something about these rable rousers. the ordinary person would have been arrested on the first day and their vehicles ticketed and towed

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