Man charged in Nelson over fire at anti-mandate Parliament protest, two others arrested

  • 12/05/2022

A man has been charged in Nelson over a fire lit on Parliament grounds in March - one of three arrests police made in the area related to the frenetic final day of the anti-mandate protest.

And police warn further arrests are likely as the investigation into the events in the capital on March 2 progresses.

Tasman Police carried out two search warrants in Golden Bay on Thursday morning, arresting two people, Detective Superintendent Peter Read said.

A 29-year-old man was charged with intentional damage and doing a dangerous act with intent - both of which relate to the fires lit on Parliament grounds. A 29-year-old woman was also charged with doing a dangerous act with intent and rioting. 

Both are scheduled to appear in Nelson District Court next Monday.

"A third person, a 50-year-old man, was arrested in Nelson and will face charges of assault with a weapon, doing a dangerous act with intent and rioting," Det Supt Read said.

"He appeared in Nelson District Court today.

"A dedicated investigation team continues to work towards identifying anyone involved in violent criminal offending."

Violence flared on March 2 as police moved in on Parliament grounds to remove protesters' tents and vehicles in a bid to return the space to Wellingtonians after 23 days of occupation.

Many protesters refused to leave, despite being warned they were trespassing and may be arrested if they remained.

Instead, a large number of them took to anarchy, lighting fires, tearing up pavements and throwing bricks at officers, while police have also been accused of using violence.

Despite the onslaught, police managed to take the grounds back by the end of the day.