Traffic brought to crawl in Auckland and Wellington as anti-lockdown protesters take rage to roads

Traffic was brought to a crawl in Auckland and Wellington on Saturday as anti-lockdown protesters took their rage to the roads.

In Christchurch, thousands marched on foot in yet another weekend of outcry against COVID-19 restrictions.

To the untrained eye Saturday's congestion might have looked like the usual Auckland rush hour - but the drivers were not your average commuters.

They were protesters in a rage over the lockdown and vaccination mandates.

"It's brave of them to protest to get our motorways back to the traffic level we're used to we don't want clear motorways anymore, we're sick of it. We're really sick of clear motorways," one onlooker commented.

Snide jokes aside organisers of today's protest wanted to cause serious pandemonium.

They planned what they called the "great gridlock" with several motorcades driving in different directions around the city's main motorways.

"Everyone's just driving around in circles because this country is currently directionless," one person explained.

The convoys began this morning and crawled well below the speed limit, at about 50 kilometres an hour. Frustrated drivers were forced off the road as they tried to get around the pack.

Emergency services were also blocked. An ambulance rushing to help someone needed to be escorted out by police.

Drivers in Wellington blocked Victoria Tunnel where protesters in costume joined in from the sidelines.

"We're dressed up like blimmin clowns just to bring some levity to the situation," one said.

Out of their cars, and onto the streets, thousands marched through central Christchurch as part of the nationwide rallies.

First they gathered in Cranmer Square - well above alert level 2's 100-person outdoor limit.

Police aren't ruling out charges over today's protests which could include fines of driving too slowly or blocking traffic.

Not that it deters these protesters. They've already planned their next weekend of action.