Seven Ihumātao protesters arrested after forming human chain across busy road

Seven protesters have been arrested near the Ihumātao protest site, after chaining themselves to a van on the road.

The three men and four women were handcuffed and taken into custody following their demonstration on Mangere's George Bolt Drive.

"A protester had chained themselves to a van on the road, with several more protesters linking arms to block all northbound lanes," says Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers.

"The actions of this group is totally unacceptable," she said.

Police say the "reckless behaviour" endangered the protesters' lives and put motorists and police at risk.

They have called tonight's actions "particularly disappointing" after praising protesters' overall behaviour at Ihumātao.

At around 6pm reports emerged that the demonstrators allegedly had their "clothes ripped" during the incident, following an otherwise peaceful day of protest.

Protesters at the land occupation near Auckland are expecting busloads of supporters to boost their numbers tonight and Friday.

The stand-off against both police and some older members of their iwi, who support Fletcher's plan to build a subdivision, only seems to be gathering steam.

Police will continue to remain at the site overnight.

Police have reiterated their commitment to resolving this situation peacefully.