Coronavirus: Wainuiomata residents rush to protect marae as protesters plan occupation

Wainuiomata residents took quick action to protect their marae from protesters on Thursday night. 

After police removed the anti-mandate protesters from Parliament some continued their protest elsewhere. 

While a number set up camp in Shelly Bay, others planned to descend on Wainuiomata Marae, according to social media posts. 

But locals weren't having it with photos showing at least 50 residents camped out to protect the marae on Thursday afternoon. Locals said the police helicopter was also circling overhead for much of the afternoon. 

Police told Newshub they are "aware of protesters at various locations around the country". 

There are also reports protesters stayed in the community, spending the night in Remutaka Forest Park and at a temple. 

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard praised the locals' response, saying they did a better job than him.

"Spent a bit of time down there this evening. My community is doing a better job of stopping the feral campers than I did. Thanks neighbours," Mallard tweeted.

Wainuiōmata Marae was the marae-based vaccination clinic in Wellington. 

Mallard has been criticised by experts for his tactics to move the protesters on. Early on the Speaker turned Parliament's sprinklers on and blasted music in an effort to get protesters to move on. His efforts were unsuccessful. 

On Thursday Police revealed 100 people had been arrested and are facing charges including arson, grievous bodily harm, inciting violence, theft, assault, trespass and obstruction.

They said a police investigation into the protest has now begun. 

"Police investigators have also begun the process of reviewing a huge amount of footage taken of yesterday's operation, to identify possible further lines of enquiry and prosecution."

It comes after protesters clashed violently with police on Wednesday. After 23 days of occupation, police moved in to take control of Parliament grounds. The move was met by hostility with protesters tearing up pavements to throw bricks at officers and starting several fires.

While they were eventually moved on, many vowed to re-group at other protests.