Coronavirus: Picton locals demand police move protesters on as illegal camp infuriates neighbours

A convoy of protesters made their way from Christchurch to Picton on Saturday with the intention of getting to Parliament.

It's day 20 of the nationwide anti-mandate protests, and there are calls for more police in Picton.

Led by a yellow mini, a convoy of protesters has descended on Picton - arriving on scooters, towing boats and waving flags.

Labelled the 'Straggle Muster', it comes three weeks after the first convoy hit Parliament.

Some brought dogs. Some brought instruments. But no one brought a mask.

"It's amazing, we've all been waiting here for them. Really going to boost morale around camp getting these extra people turn up," one protester said.

A camp was set up illegally on Picton's Nelson Square but locals have had enough.

"Loud noise, music going and the generator," Picton resident Jacqueline Cartwright says. "They have no respect for neighbours living around them."

Their message to campers is clear: "Go home and let us have our towns and streets back."

The council's issued a trespass notice to the Picton occupation, after they refused to move to an alternative site. But they show no signs of leaving. The mayor wants more police sent to his town to remove them.

"Let's be really clear - there are enforcement options available and we want to see a greater police presence here," says Marlborough Mayor John Leggett.

There's fears of COVID in the Picton camp.

"Wellington's been called a super spreader for COVID and the same thing will happen here," Leggett warns.

It's unknown exactly how many COVID cases are linked to the protests but the DHB has confirmed three from Wellington's occupation are in hospital with the virus.

Police say there's aggressive behaviour towards them and that protest leaders are losing control of unruly demonstrators.

Those demonstrators have been making themselves at home in the capital, building toilets on the sidewalk of the CBD.

Meanwhile in Auckland a small number of protesters are camping illegally at the Auckland Domain.

Media aren't welcome at the public park and police have now closed the domain to all traffic because of the occupation.