COVID-19: Billy Te Kahika arrested during Auckland anti-lockdown protest

Billy Te Kahika has been apprehended by police while speaking at an anti-lockdown protest outside TVNZ's Auckland headquarters. 

He was seen shaking hands with people at a gathering of about 100 protestors from midday on Wednesday.

Te Kahika told the crowd the COVID-19 pandemic and level four lockdown response was a 'hoax'.

Protestors told Newshub they believed the Government was corrupt and the media were lying to the public. Another protester said he believed in the right to freedom. 

Police arrived at the protest about 12:40pm and immediately arrested Te Kahika.

Another man, who seemed to be leading the protest through a loudspeaker, was also arrested.

In Wednesday's 1pm COVID-19 press conference, Jacinda Ardern said she didn't want the outcry of a few to outshine the correct response of many.

"The first thing I would say is I actually don't want to let the actions of a relatively small number characterise everyone - that's not the case," she said.

"It is disappointing that some choose to put others at risk, but for the most part the team of 5 million are doing their bit."

Police commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed police have arrested four people at the Auckland anti-lockdown protest - however he wouldn't comment specifically on anyone involved.

"We gave plenty of opportunities for that crowd to disperse and when that did not occur we began arresting people," he said.

"We have a low tolerance for unlawful gatherings but particularly in the context of a Delta variant outbreak."

Police also attended anti-lockdown protests in Nelson and Tauranga, where groups of around 20 people gathered at each city's police stations. Four people were arrested at the Tauranga protest.

Coster said officers will be out on Wednesday conducting reassurance checks at places like supermarkets.

"But we know the vast majority of New Zealanders comply with restrictions and do the right thing to get us through this situation. We do need compliance in order to stay safe," he added.