Jacinda Ardern's message to New Zealand after anti-mandate protest descends on Parliament

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent a message to vaccinated New Zealanders after anti-mandate protesters descended on Parliament: that these people aren't representative of the majority of Kiwis and "this too will pass".

Hundreds of people from all over New Zealand gathered on Tuesday to show their opposition to the Government's COVID-19 rules and restrictions, as well as the vaccine mandates introduced last year.

Their protest meant roads in Wellington CBD were jammed and some buses had to detour around Parliament.

Some protesters' vans were emblazoned with their message, some of which said "We choose freedom" and "Stop the divide, drop the pass". 

Asked about the protest at her post-Cabinet press conference on Tuesday, Ardern used the opportunity to instead talk about the number of people who had been vaccinated so far.

"I know today at 1pm, 31,000 people had gone out and been vaccinated, and so I think it would be wrong to, in any way, characterise what we've seen outside as a representation of the majority," she said.

"The majority of New Zealanders have done everything they can to keep one another safe."

Jacinda Ardern's message to New Zealand after anti-mandate protest descends on Parliament
Photo credit: Newshub.

Ardern also thanked the "vast majority" of Kiwis who've made sacrifices throughout the pandemic and have been vaccinated, and she added that "this [the protests] too will pass".

Just over 3.9 million New Zealanders aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, with 1.6 million of these having received their booster dose too.

Just over 200,000 children aged 5 to 11 years old are partially vaccinated too. This age group isn't yet eligible for their second dose.

The majority of district health boards have fully vaccinated more than 90 percent of its eligible residents too, with just Northland, Tairāwhiti, and Whanganui left to hit this target.