COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12

There was a slight bump in the COVID-19 new cases on Saturday with 454 reported, up from 446 on Friday.

This comes against the backdrop of an anti-mandate protest on the grounds of Parliament that is in its fifth day. 

The protest is so far more peaceful than the angry scenes witnessed on Thursday but those who remained will have endured a wet night last night after Speaker Trevor Mallard ordered the sprinklers on the lawn to be turned on. 

What you need to know:

  • There were a record 454 new community cases in New Zealand on Saturday
  • Location of new community cases: Northland (12), Auckland (294), Waikato (72), Bay of Plenty (23), Lakes (8), Hawke’s Bay (7), MidCentral (5), Taranaki (1), Wellington (5), Hutt Valley (12), Wairarapa (2), Southern (13).
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 8
  • Cases in hospital: Total number 27 (25 of whom have active infections); North Shore: 2; Middlemore: 11; Auckland: 10; Rotorua: 2, Waikato 1, Christchurch: 1.
  • You can see the latest locations of interest here

4:30pm - Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says although people have a right to protest, they lose that right when they "threaten, harass and disrupt people and a whole city".

"I have had so many constituents contact me over the last week distressed at what is happening to our city. School pupils spat at and harassed for wearing a mask, roads blocked delaying public transport and emergency services and businesses shut down," he says on Facebook.

"Not to mention the obvious threats of violence against politicians and the media. Looking down on a protest that wants to hang me as a politician, a sign that compares the Prime Minister to the March 15th terrorist, calls for arrest and execution of me and other leaders you might understand why I believe the Police need to move them on."

3:25pm - The police officers who entered the crowd have exited carrying a person on a stretcher. 

COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12

3:15pm - A long file of police officers has entered the crowd and made its way through. A protester on a loudspeaker calls on everyone to remain peaceful.

COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12

2:55pm - Protesters in Wellington face a wet night with the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office warning the worst of the rain is due to hit overnight.

"There are heavy rain warnings and wind watches in place right across the region until Sunday afternoon," it says on Facebook.

"There is likely to be widespread surface flooding across the region due to the prolonged rainfall.

"There is a strong wind watch in place for Sunday morning through to Sunday afternoon."

2:00pm - A US decision on Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for infants and children 6 months through 4 years of age has been postponed for at least two months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it needed more data.

The FDA had planned to decide on the vaccine based on early trial data as soon as next week with the government planning to roll it out on Feb. 21. It had asked Pfizer to speed up its application as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus caused a surge of infections, including among children.

On Friday, the agency said it had reviewed new trial information that arrived after Pfizer and BioNTech's request for emergency authorization and decided it needed more data before weighing in on the authorization.

The FDA said parents anxiously awaiting the vaccine for the roughly 18 million children in the age group should be reassured that the agency is taking the time to make sure it meets the standard it has set for authorization.


1:25pm - Ministry of Health statement for Saturday.  

Tairāwhiti has reached two vaccination milestones today; their eligible population reached 90% fully vaccinated –the 18th DHB to do so – and it’s eligible Māori population reached 90% first doses.

The Tairāwhiti DHB has worked in partnership with local providers and advocates to ensure as many people as possible have had the opportunity to get vaccinated. This includes reaching those in the region’s most remote communities with vaccination vans.

Yesterday afternoon, New Zealand’s ten millionth vaccine dose was administered.

This incredible milestone is a testament to the country’s commitment to vaccination as a safe and effective way to protect ourselves against COVID-19.

A high rate of vaccination helped us minimise the most severe effects of Delta. With Omicron spreading around the country, getting vaccinated continues to be our best defence against COVID-19.

The Big Boost Week continues to see tens of thousands of people going out to get their booster dose each day. Yesterday, there were 57,364 boosters administered.

If it’s been three months since you got your second dose, please get your booster as soon as possible. Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick and being hospitalised.

Testing reminder

It is encouraging to see a high level of testing this week. However, it is important the right people get tested for the right reasons.

There is good testing capacity throughout the country, but unnecessary testing could delay results for those who urgently need them.

People should only get tested if they have cold or flu symptoms, if they have been at a location of interest, or if they have been asked to get tested by a health official.

This weekend, we’re also asking people to stick to the basics to reduce the chances of catching and spreading COVID-19.

When you’re out and about, please physical distance and wear a mask, especially when you’re around people you don’t know.

As always, scan in using the COVID-19 Tracer App. Scanning in will ensure you are alerted quickly if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 4,052,086 first doses (96%); 3,981,374 second doses (95%); 1,839,877 booster doses (58%)
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 668 first doses; 1,518 second doses; 2,482 paediatric doses; 57,364 booster doses
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 515,891 first doses (90%); 492,036 second doses (86%)
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 278,901 first doses (97%); 271,785 second doses (95%)
  • Paediatric vaccines administered to date (percentage of 5-11-year-olds): 209,275 first doses (44%)
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people aged 5-11): 29,115 first doses (25%)
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people aged 5-11): 16,949 first doses (34%).

Vaccination rates for all DHBs (percentage of eligible people aged 12 +)

  • Northland DHB: First doses (90%); second doses (87%)
  • Auckland Metro DHBs: First doses (97%); second doses (96%)
  • Waikato DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (93%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (93%)
  • Lakes DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (91%)
  • MidCentral DHB: First doses (97%); second doses (95%)
  • Tairāwhiti DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (90%)
  • Whanganui DHB: First doses (92%); second doses (89.9%)
  • Hawke’s Bay: First doses (97%); second doses (94%)
  • Taranaki DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (93%)
  • Wairarapa DHB: First doses (97%); second doses (95%)
  • Capital and Coast DHB: First doses (99%); second doses (98%)
  • Hutt Valley DHB: First doses (97%); second doses (95%)
  • Nelson Marlborough DHB: First doses (97%); second doses (95%)
  • West Coast DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (91%)
  • Canterbury DHB: First doses (99%); second doses (98%)
  • South Canterbury DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (94%)
  • Southern DHB: First doses (98%); second doses (96%)


  • Cases in hospital: Total Number 27 (25 of whom have active infections); North Shore: 2; Middlemore: 11; Auckland: 10; Rotorua: 2, Waikato 1, Christchurch: 1.
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 52
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 0
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region only, excluding Emergency Departments): Unvaccinated or not eligible (4 cases / 20%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (1 case / 5%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (9 cases / 45%); unknown (6 cases / 30%).


  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 275
  • Seven day rolling average of border cases: 28
  • Number of new community cases: 454
  • Location of new community cases*: Northland (12), Auckland (294), Waikato (72), Bay of Plenty (23), Lakes (8), Hawke’s Bay (7), MidCentral (5), Taranaki (1), Wellington (5), Hutt Valley (12), Wairarapa (2), Southern (13).
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 8
  • Location of origin of border cases: India (3), Australia (1), Saudi Arabia (1), United Arab Emirates (1) the United Kingdom (1), full travel history yet obtained (1).
  • Number of active cases (total): 3,303 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classified as recovered) 
  • Confirmed cases (total): 19,400

* Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO.

1:15pm - There are 454 new community cases in New Zealand today, so no significant bump.

A new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in South Canterbury and there are now two active cases in the region. 

Anyone who was at Mackenzies Cafe Bar & Grill between 5.00pm – 5.45pm on Sunday 6 February is asked to self-isolate, get a test, and record your visit online or call Healthline so contact tracers can get in touch.

Additionally, anyone in the Southern Canterbury region who has any cold or flu like symptoms should get tested.

Information on testing in the region is available from Healthpoint, and the DHB website.

The case was confirmed after our cut off period so will be added to official figures tomorrow.

1:10pm - Away from the protest we are waiting for the Ministry of Health's latest case numbers. Yesterday we had a record 446 new cases and today's could be even higher.

1:00pm - There is another anti-mandate protest underway in Christchurch today with a large crowd out in support of the Wellington protest. 

COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12
COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12

12:50pm - The protest is continuing to disrupt the capital, which is presumambly one of the objectives, with Metlink saying it has removed a service from the Wellington Interchange.

"Following its latest risk assessments for the parliament protest Metlink is removing all bus services from Lambton Interchange with immediate effect and putting additional detours in place.

"We have taken this decision with everyone’s health and wellbeing at the forefront of our plans and we thank passengers for their patience during this time."

12:40pm - Police have said in a statement a protester at the Parliament grounds had a medical event on Friday night but an ambulance was unable to get to them as a vehicle was blocking the path. 

"This caused a delay in his treatment with ambulance staff having to walk some distance to get to the man who was waiting with Police,"  Superintendent Scott Fraser: said .

"Despite the very difficult environment, our staff, and our Wellington Free Ambulance colleagues, acted with empathy and professionalism, ensuring this man got the medical treatment he needed."

There was one arrest overnight for a breach of bail conditions but have been no arrests on Saturday. 

12:20pm - Bales of hay have been brought in, presumably to mop up some of the water. 

The NZ Herald is reporting one of Ngāti Toa's leaders has condemned the use of the haka at the protest. 

"As the descendants of Te Rauparaha, we insist that protesters stop using our taonga immediately," Dr Taku Parai, said.

"We do not support their position and we do not want our tupuna or our iwi associated with their messages," the Herald reported. 

12:00pm - Manukau City Medical and Mackenzies Cafe Bar & Grill Lake Tekapo are the latest high risk locations of interest. For more details click here.

11:50am - The hospitality sector is continuing to suffer under the red light setting. 

A survey last week by the Restaurant Association showed 55 percent of members had seen a significant drop in revenue. 

The Takapuna Business Association has released data today showing the spend in the North Shore suburb is down 21 percent on the same week last year. 

Takapuna Business Association chief executive, Terence Harpur, is calling on the Government to reintroduce previous support packages before the Omicron variant sweeps through country forcing more patrons and staff into self-isolation.

“With public health experts predicting a tsunami of infections, the coming months will be the toughest time for businesses since the Covid pandemic started two years ago. Let’s not forget businesses have still not recovered from Auckland’s four-month lockdown late last year. On top of this, there is now considerably less financial support,” says Harpur.

Takapuna’s Marketview data for the week ending 6 February shows spending on hospitality and accommodation was down 30.5 percent; food, liquor and pharmacies down 15.7 percent; clothing, footwear and dept. stores down 38.5 percent; home and recreational retailing down 23.4 percent. 

11:30am - Members of the Freedom and Rights Coalition are performing a haka that has stirred the crowd up, it is definitely getting a little more aggressive down there. 

COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12

11:15am - There is definitely a different atmosphere at Parliament today than yesterday, when it looked more like a crowd at a music festival than a protest. 

There is far more noise with chanting and more placards calling for the vaccine mandate to end.

People are standing at the barrier today rather than sitting around as they were on Friday. 

There is still a light police presence but some protesters are now standing on the barrier so we may see a few more cops arriving. 

11:00am - The crowd has definitely swelled in Wellington as more people arrive at the protest. There is a sea of umbrellas as the rain starts to come down.


COVID-19: Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, February 12

10:45am - Fully vaccinated travellers to the UK no longer need to take a COVID-19 test when they land in the country the British Government says. 

This change came into place at 4am on February 11 UK time. 

Unvaccinated travelers still need to take a test but don't need to isolate until they get a result. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the UK "now has one of the most free-flowing borders in the world — sending a clear message that we are open for business."

10:30am - The noise level has risen at Parliament as motorbike riders from the Freedom and Rights Coalition arrived  - not sure why they have turned up on day five but they have been greeted by cheers.

10:00am - The protesters at Parliament seem unperturbed by the weather, which is forecast to get quite nasty in the capital. 

Most are now in waterproof gear and there appears to be more arriving. The police have maintained their distance this morning and are standing back, so far it is peaceful. 

09:45 - A COVID-19 modeller has warned we could see 1000 daily new cases next week. 

University of Auckland modeller Dion O'Neale told Newshub we're playing catch-up after slow testing numbers over the long Weekend.

"We're clearing the backlog of the people who didn't get tested over Waitangi weekend, and so those tests take a while to come through and we're going to see an extra little bump probably on account of that," he said. 

He says next week we're likely to hit our first 1000 daily cases.

"It's expected, we shouldn't be alarmed about it. We should be worried that numbers are going up because that's a signal that we need to change our behaviour if we want them to not go up faster."

09:30am - Police issued a statement on Friday night saying there had been no arrests that day, after 122 people were arrested on Thursday. 

"There have been no arrests today," says Superintendent Corrie Parnell, Wellington District Commander.

"Trying to engage with key protest group leaders has been ineffective due to the vast array of interest groups and their conflicts with each other.

"Police will maintain a highly visibile (sic) presence at Parliament grounds overnight.

"Molesworth Street remains blocked by over 100 vehicles including large trucks, campervans and cars.

"Police are working on options to work with tow truck companies to have the vehicles removed, however there have been concerns from tow-truck operators, who have been threatened by protesters.

"Police sympathise with their position and we are exploring our options."

09:17am - The Freedom and Rights coalition say they are heading to the capital today to join the protest. Bikers are due to arrive at 10:30 as are more protesters - I hope they have umbrellas. 

09:00am - It is already very muddy at the protest at Parliament and there is heavy rain forecast for the capital as Tropical Cyclone Dovi heads towards New Zealand. 

Protesters have dug in despite speaker Trevor Mallard turning on the sprinklers on the lawn in front of the Beehive where many of the protesters are camped.