Wellingtonians celebrate as police push protesters back in violent day at Parliament

Despite the violence, many Wellingtonians will be celebrating getting their streets back after the 23-day occupation.

While police and protesters clashed, many in Wellington breathed a cautious sigh of relief. 

For 23 days now Parliament and its surrounding streets have been occupied by anti-mandate protesters.

Many of them are peaceful but they are still blocking roads and closing schools and businesses.

And there have been numerous reports of violence and abuse towards residents like Peter Tweddle.

Tweddle says he was harassed and accused of being an undercover police officer by protesters. 

"[They] accused me of being a police officer. They didn't like that I was wearing a mask, didn't like that I was wearing an earpiece for my music."

He said he was happy to finally see police taking charge on Wednesday. 

"They've clearly overstayed their welcome."

And other Wellingtonians agree with many saying the protest has caused traffic chaos and created havoc in the area surrounding Parliament. 

"You should just go home," one resident said about the protesters. 

It's a sentiment shared by Wellington mayor Andy Foster who said the city's residents want the protesters gone. 

"Wellingtonians really want to see this protest end and it's good to see that affirmative action being taken." 

For more than three weeks the capital's been at the mercy of this occupation. And local MP and deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has had enough.  

"Dozens of people have reported to me that they've been abused, threatened, intimidated and in some cases assaulted by those who claim that they came here to peacefully protest," Robertson said. 

"On behalf of Wellingtonians, we want you to go home. Please take your children home so that we can all get on with our lives in peace." 

And a local beauty clinic owner is hoping protesters do just that after losing 70 percent of revenue since the protest began.

One day showing up to work to find graffiti on his salon window after putting a digital counter-protest sign near his front door.

Owner JJ Joshi told Newshub protesters wrote, 'go f*** yourself' on his window. 

He's hoping today means he can get back to business as usual but he's unhappy it took this long. 

"It should have been done a lot quicker, it should've been done a lot swifter. After today I don't want to see it here! Simple," Joshi said. 

But even after a full day of police efforts, there's still plenty left to be cleared out.