Parliament anti-mandate protest: Showers removed, police car tyres slashed in late night protest standoff

Shower stalls erected by protesters were removed by police in riot gear in a late night standoff near Parliament overnight.

Police stormed in with riot gear around midnight to remove shower blocks that had been erected.

The shower blocks were separate to the plumbed toilets installed by protesters over the weekend. The aftermath is shown on a live broadcast on prominent protester Chantelle Baker’s Facebook page.

"They took the showers," one protester says. "They just lifted them up and out."

"They smashed all the windows in the showers," another man says.

Footage posted to Twitter shows what looks like a container-style shower block on the back of a truck.

Newshub has been told protester vehicles were damaged during the operation and in retaliation protesters slashed the tyres of three police vehicles parked at a nearby hotel.

In a statement, police confirmed the mobile shower block, "which was parked illegally", was removed and seized overnight.

"This work is part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of the protest on Wellingtonians, particularly those who live, work and study in the area around Parliament.

"Our focus will remain on containing the protest within the perimeter and police will continue to seize the large infrastructure protesters are trying to bring in, if they are in breach of local bylaws or committing an offence under the Local Government Act. These items will not be returned.

"Police secured the location on Stout St to allow a forklift vehicle to remove the shower block.

Footage shows police officers holding back the crowd as what appears to be the container-style shower block is put on the back of a truck.
Footage shows police officers holding back the crowd as what appears to be the container-style shower block is put on the back of a truck. Photo credit: Facebook

"The operation was completed within 50 minutes."

Police said the Wellington City Council would collect the shower block on Tuesday.

"One civilian car received minor damaged in the process of manoeuvring the forklift and shower block.

"Following the operation, protesters let down the tyres of four police vehicles parked on Featherston St in retaliation, as well as the tyres of one police vehicle on Aitken St."

Flat police car tyres on Featherston St.
Flat police car tyres on Featherston St. Photo credit: Newshub.

It's understood several protesters have been trying to leave the protest grounds but are being blocked from doing so by the other demonstrators, police said. It's estimated about 300 vehicles remain inside the protest perimeter.

"We will be overseeing the perimeter today to allow vehicles to leave in a one-way exit if they wish to do so.

"Police will continue to have a highly visible presence in and around Parliament grounds to reassure local residents, businesses and people in the area throughout the day."