PPTA urges teachers considering protesting against mandatory vaccinations to stay home

The NZ Post-Primary Teachers' Association is urging Kiwi teachers who are planning on attending an Auckland protest against mandatory vaccinations to stay home.

NZ Teachers Connected is organising a protest on Saturday afternoon to "stand together against teacher and medical staff vaccine mandates".

However, to comply with COVID-19 alert level restrictions, protesters will remain in their cars.

"Because we are 'allowed' to drive around Auckland for recreation, a car protest is a legal way to get our voices heard," the protest website said. 

"Decorate your car in support of teachers and medical professionals. Let's get out there and let this government know what we think. No vaccine mandates."

Protesters will drive in a loop through the CBD and organisers noted it's meant to be a peaceful event.

"If approached by police at any time please be polite and compliant. We are not here to cause trouble. If you are not willing to stick to the rules (listed below) and do not wish to remain peaceful and compliant please do not attend this event."

The president of the NZ Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua Melanie Webber said while they respect individuals' right to protest, "we equally respect people's rights to be protected as much as possible from the worsening outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Auckland".

"The organisers of the car demonstration are clearly aiming to carry out their protest within the current alert level 3 rules," she said.

"However, we are concerned that despite the best of intentions, events like these can be overtaken by those who have less regard for health and safety restrictions.

"It's obvious from the rate of increases in unlinked case numbers that the situation in Auckland is on a knife-edge right now. This event has a significant risk of exacerbating the pandemic so we cannot support it and would advise people to stay at home."

A police spokesperson said "police are out every day and will address alleged breaches as necessary".

The Government has mandated COVID-19 vaccination for high-risk workers in health and disability and in education - two sectors that now join managed isolation and border workers. 

Education workers will need to be vaccinated by January 1.