Politicians at war over Trevor Mallard's 'immature' response to Parliament's anti-mandate protesters

Politicians are at odds over the response to anti-mandate protesters occupying Parliament's lawn. 

Protesters are nearing the end of day seven and show no sign of moving - the music is still pumping and tents are still pitched.

Speaker Trevor Mallard's sprinklers and silly songs all weekend did little more than irritate the occupiers. 

"Seems pretty childish, immature if you thought that was going to make the people go away," one protester told Newshub.

ACT Party leader David Seymour reckons it actually made things worse.

"All Trevor Mallard has achieved is behave with enormous immaturity and actually strengthen the resolve of the protesters," he says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it's time to go home - especially those with children.

"It has stepped, in my mind, beyond a protest, given we have seen the ongoing harassment and intimidation of people who are trying to go about their daily lives."

Police are planning on moving the cars that have clogged up Molesworth St to Sky Stadium on Monday evening.

"Wellingtonians have had a gutsful, in terms of the disruption and ability to go about freedom and business. The primary focus is to free that passageway up," says Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell.

Politicians at war over Trevor Mallard's 'immature' response to Parliament's anti-mandate protesters
Photo credit: Newshub.

They might be able to move the vehicles, but the protesters are not going anywhere - they all agree on the end game.

"End those bloody mandates. Stop trying to jab the children," one protester says.

"End all mandates now. We're not leaving until that happens," another adds.

"End the mandates at least and we'll all go home. We'll probably clean up the grounds and everything," a third says.

The Prime Minister is not even entertaining the prospect of addressing them because they have demanded all restrictions be removed. 

"That means at the very point where we're seeing an increase in cases and an increase in risk to the public health and wellbeing of New Zealand, they want to see removed the very measures that have kept us safe, well, and alive. You'll forgive me if I take a very strong view on that suggestion."

But her former deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is now sympathetic to the protesters' views.

"People need to be listened to and be heard. The idea that they're all extremists and they've all got weird ideas is just nonsense," he says.

And denies it's purely for his political gain. When asked what he'd say to people who call him a political opportunist, he said: "Well I would say, 'Stop your woke troll behaviour'."

Ardern says this is not a Kiwi protest.

"To me, it looks like an imported style of protest that I have not seen in New Zealand before, complete with Trump flags.

She wants the protesters and their flags out of there.