COVID anti-mandate protest: Taxpayers and Wellington ratepayers set to cough up for clean up of Parliament grounds

Cleaning up Parliament's grounds in the wake of the anti-mandate protests will be paid for by a combination of city council and Government funds, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says.

Chaos descended over the 23-day long Parliament occupation on Wednesday as police moved in to bring the protest to an end. Eighty-seven people were arrested as tents and Parliament's playground went up in flames, followed by a stand-off in the streets.

A clean-up of the Beehive's grounds is already well and truly underway, with Parliament security along with police officers combing through the mess - a lengthy job that will take some days to complete.

AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green asked Foster how much the clean-up would cost. In response, he said he didn't "want to put a number on it" - only that "I think it will be a seven-figure number".

"We're putting our money on the table - but we want the Government to be supporting us," Foster said.

He said clean-up plans were in place and the council was coordinating with the Government.

"It's got to be done professionally. I know we've got a lot of volunteers who have said that they'd love to help out and that's part of the healing process - so I've talked to the Deputy Prime Minister about that, talked to our CEO about that - we've got to find a way of giving people an opportunity to have that feeling of healing and of getting back their city."

Foster said there was a mixture of costs - some of which would be funded by the Government and some by the council.

"It's just, unfortunately, what we've got to go through," he said. "It's been an incredibly tough time for ratepayers with all the impacts from COVID… this is insult to injury.

"I just want to recognise, too, that there's a cost to Victoria University of Wellington and other Government agencies around the area."   

A Givealittle to fix Parliament's playground, which was set alight during the violence on Wednesday, has so far raised nearly $11,600. One Wellington resident has also organised a "Big Clean-up" of Parliament volunteer group.