Cycleway protester bludgeons traffic island with sledgehammer, gets arrested

  • 15/03/2018

Protester Lisa Prager has been arrested after attacking a partially built traffic island with a hammer and crowbar.

Ms Prager told Newshub she believed the island was unsafe and her cries had fallen on deaf ears with Auckland Transport.

"We've put an occupation here and said 'remove this dangerous semi-island' - well they've done everything in their power to ignore us," she said.

"So basically we've taken direct action and told them if you don't remove it and make it safe we will."

Auckland Transport says it has committed to working with the community following the protests, but taking to the island with an axe was not the right way forward.

"We are working closely with a community liaison group to establish what work we can progress with at this location," a spokesperson told Newshub.

"Following the most recent liaison group meeting, our designers have evaluated the intersection and are progressing a solution.

"We support the rights of people to protest, however damaging public property and putting themselves and others risk is unacceptable."

It's not the first protest Ms Prager has taken part in. As part of the Occupy Garnet Rd group, she took up occupation of a different traffic island in November 2017.

On November 21, they also occupied a digger in an attempt to prevent further works from being undertaken in the area.

Work on the cycleway was paused on December 6 to allow Auckland Transport to review designs and engage with the community and Waitematā Local Board, Stuff reports.

On January 19, fellow Occupy Garnet Rd member Penny Bright was arrested following an occupation in a group of mature pōhutukawa trees on Quay St.

Ms Prager was taken away by police while Newshub was present, a spokesperson confirming she had been charged with wilful damage following the incident.