Brian Tamaki warns voters 'starting to wake up' as protest group demands snap election, Govt be tried over 'crimes against humanity'

Brian Tamaki has arrived in Wellington ahead of the Freedom and Rights Coalition's planned protest at Parliament.

The capital is bracing for impact, with up to 1000 anti-Government protesters expected to descend on Parliament's grounds on Tuesday. 

Bollards are in place and some roads are closed in Wellington as the city prepares for the protest.

When asked to explain Tuesday's purpose, Tamaki was vague.

"So it's a place of catharsis where people can just empty out and say, you know, what's happened to them and at least have a place where they can be heard."

Online though, the demands are much clearer. They want the Government to be tried for "crimes against humanity" and a snap election.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this isn't something she'd be interested in doing.

"Perhaps you might wish to ask them on what basis. I'm not entirely sure of the purpose of the protest tomorrow either," she said on Monday afternoon.

But Tamaki just said both Ardern and the Government are under pressure.

"She's under pressure, and so is the Labour Government, because they know that voters are starting to wake up."

Brian Tamaki.
Brian Tamaki. Photo credit: Newshub.

It appears that some of Tamaki's followers are already in Wellington too. Hand-painted stones, some depicting Bible verses, were scattered across Parliament's grounds.

They've been removed, and it's not hard to understand why.

It's been just six months since protesters took over the precinct for 23 days. It all ended in fire, but it wasn't just the Beehive's lawn that suffered - surrounding businesses were also crippled.

University bookstore Vic Books has now closed its CBD site permanently. That protest, following months of COVID-19 restrictions, pushed them over the edge.

"Business was so tough that we couldn't stay there, but the other businesses that have managed to stay put, I'm really feeling for them right now," said Vic Books general manager Jessica Godfrey.

Tamaki is promising that February's scenes won't be repeated.

"We are peaceful," he said.

Yet, there's a sense of foreboding around Parliament as the city waits.