Ihumātao protest: The Project's Kanoa Lloyd says police had no reason 'to do what they did'

The Project's co-host Kanoa Lloyd has criticised the recent events at Ihumātao, claiming police had no reason to bring in reinforcements on Monday night.

Tension between the Ihumātao protesters and police escalated on Monday after police sent in reinforcements, increasing their presence at the site of the dispute. The protest's founder, Pania Newton, claims officers rammed her with a gate - but police deny any violence. 

Kanoa Lloyd visited Ihumātao on Tuesday morning, where witnesses claimed police incited "panic and fear" among the protesters through "intimidation".

The events of Monday night now has many people worried.

Police say they never intended to intimidate protesters, and were responding to reports of a group who were planning to cross the imaginary line. Police deny any allegations of violence and say they were met with a degree of hostility.

"We have seen an element of aggression to our staff, to intimidate them, to breach the lines," Superintendent Jill Rogers told The Project.

Lloyd made an impassioned speech on Tuesday's episode to criticise police for their actions.

"I went down there this morning because I have witnessed for myself police and people working alongside one another...everything was working really smoothly the last time I was there," Lloyd said. 

"I thought something must have happened - maybe there's a terrorist threat, maybe there's something we don't know about that's going on."

"There is nothing that the police have said today or explained today that makes me think they had any reason to do what they did last night. I have seen nothing."

Lloyd claimed if any protester had been behaving in a violent manner, it would have been quickly addressed by the "people there who are keeping an eye out". 

At this point, co-host Jeremy Corbett interjected.

"Call me crazy, but I actually believe the police as well," he said.

"Maybe in some ways they both believe their own truths of what happened." 

But in the end, Lloyd had the final say.

"It's totally unnecessary," she said.

Watch the full clip above.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: