Election 2023: Freedoms NZ protesters driven out of Labour's campaign launch after disrupting speeches

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has had another incursion of Freedoms NZ protesters at a party event - this time at Labour's campaign launch.

But security quickly escorted them out of the venue - with Police later saying one person was arrested at the protest. No charges have been laid at this point.

About 50 Freedoms NZ protesters had gathered in Aotea Square / Te Papa-tū-wātea o Aotea on Saturday afternoon.

They were heckling Labour supporters as they arrived at the venue with chants of "no more Labour pains". 

Several protesters later went inside the building, as registered guests, and sat amongst the crowd filled with Labour supporters.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark first walked to the podium to speak ahead of Hipkins' speech, when a protester stood up from the crowd and started yelling inaudibly at Clark.

Clark spoke over the man, but he continued, and the crowd of Labour supporters eventually erupted into applause and chants.

The man later told media he was there to cause a scene. 

Then, Chris Hipkins took to the stage to begin his speech, but after two minutes, another protester hijacked the moment by yelling "why did I lose my job?"

The woman was drowned out, again, by raucous chants of "let's go Labour, let's go!"

One protester was even dragged out screaming. Police and security at the venue escorted six people out. Outside the venue, the protesters continued.

At a press conference following the launch, Hipkins said people had to register to be able to sit in the audience. 

"These are people who deliberately set out to effectively mislead in order to get into the auditorium. You can never fully guard against that sort of thing," Hipkins told reporters.

"Ultimately this is Brian Tamaki and his group of people trying to upset the election for everybody else. I'm not going to be put off by that though."  

Newshub asked an evicted protester what he was shouting.

"Here's the thing - it doesn't really matter because are they going to listen anyway?"

Newshub then asked him what the point was of going inside.

"The reality was it was a little bit of disruption. They've disrupted our lives for the last three years, to the point of physical death for some people."

It comes exactly two weeks after Hipkins was mobbed at the Ōtara flea markets by Freedoms NZ protesters, while on a walkabout with his MPs.

Brian Tamaki, the Destiny Church leader and co-founder of Freedoms NZ, has told Newshub they're planning on being "disruptive".

"[We're] interrupting a whole boring, lacklustre campaign."