COVID-19: Anti-lockdown protestors take to Aotea Square again

The anti-lockdown protest at Aotea Square attracted a large crowd.
The anti-lockdown protest at Aotea Square attracted a large crowd. Photo credit: Facebook / NZ Liberty Movement

Anti-COVID-19-lockdown protesters have again taken to Auckland's Aotea Square in droves on Saturday. 

The protest, run by the NZ Liberty Movement on Facebook, saw over 500 people respond with 'going' to their event named "campaign to end lockdowns".

Auckland is currently at alert level 2.5, with gatherings larger than 10 not allowed. 

A video posted to the group's Facebook page shows a large turnout with people holding signs with phrases such as "fight for your rights and freedom", and depictions of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as Hitler.   

There is little mask use to be seen, despite public health advice to wear one while out in public in Auckland. 

The crowd started the protest at Aotea Square before walking down Queen St chanting "we are sovereign we are free" and "Aotearoa, make a stand".

The protest ran from 12pm to 2pm. NZ Liberty Movement says on the protest's Facebook page that their message is simple: "Lockdowns are not justifiable on any reasonable grounds."

A speaker at the protest spoke on how he believed "New Zealanders essentially have no rights now".

NZ Liberty Movement said: "The common goal [of the protest] is to bring awareness to the Government that lockdowns are neither viable or effective in the long-term."

New Zealand is using an elimination strategy to fight COVID-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Adern said on Friday: "We consider the best economic response remains a strong health response."

Ardern urged New Zealanders to stick to the alert level 2 rules over the weekend. 

On the protest Facebook page, NZ Liberty Movement said they encouraged all health and safety precautions.

They also encourage "assembling into smaller groups each group no larger than 10 people."

Anti-lockdown supporters were last seen out and about in the same area on August 22 where about 100 people protested against Auckland's alert level 3 restrictions.