Police warn Te Pati Māori protest 'likely to disrupt traffic' in number of NZ centres

Police have just released a statement.
Police have just released a statement. Photo credit: Newshub / Getty Images.

Police are warning that protest action led by Te Pati Māori planned for Tuesday is "likely to disrupt traffic" in a number of centres across the country, including in Auckland and Wellington. 

Assistant Commissioner Sandra Venables says in some areas police will be putting "measures in place to prevent protestors putting themselves and motorists in harm's way".

She said police are working with organisers to provide advice on lawful protest and any health and safety implications. Officers would be "highly visible across the roading network".

"Police recognise the right to peaceful protest and will be reminding protestors about lawful behaviour on our roads," said Asst Cmmr Venables.

"Unlawful behaviour will result in enforcement action, either at the time or following the event if safety issues prevent immediate action," she said. 

Police are expecting protests to take place between 7:30am and 9am on Tuesday and "is likely to disrupt traffic in a number of areas". Those areas listed are: 

  • Motorways across Tāmaki Makaurau
  • Waikato
  • Palmerston North
  • Hawera
  • New Plymouth
  • Tokoroa
  • Whanganui
  • Porirua
  • Whangārei
  • Tauranga
  • Rotorua
  • Wellington 

"Motorists in these areas are advised to plan ahead to mitigate any disruption to their travel. Anyone travelling to the airport or to any other time-sensitive commitment is advised to allow more time for their journey." 

Speaking at his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said New Zealanders are entitled to protest, but they should act lawfully. He believed his Government would deliver for Māori.

Te Pati Māori posted on Facebook on Monday calling for people to partake in a 'Nationwide Action Day' at various locations across the country. 

The protests will take place just a few hours before the Commission Opening, when the Governor-General sends Royal Commissioners to formally open the new Parliament. This is followed by MPs being sworn-in and the election of a Speaker.   

"Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!" the party said.    

"This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening of Parliament, where all the MPs are required to swear an oath of allegiance to the King of England. This is why we have chosen this day to take action!"   

Te Pāti Māori said the demonstration is meant to represent "the beginning of a unified Aotearoa response to the Government's assault on Tangata Whenua and Te Tiriti o Waitangi".   

It will demonstrate "the might of Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti working together" as well as a "revolution of Gen-T (Generation Tiriti) standing up for and protecting the rights of all of our mokopuna" and "asserting the mana of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as enduring and ever lasting".   

Newshub earlier contacted the party for more information about its plans, but it hasn't responded.

Ngāi Te Rangi posted on Facebook details about the protest happening in Mount Maunganui.  

"This national protest is in direct response to the Government changes that seek to rapidly dismantle three generations worth of work under an agenda that blatantly disregards the place of Māori in Aotearoa and looks to marginalise us as tangata whenua.   

"We have worked too hard to revitalise our reo, educate our people, correct the injustices faced by Māori by offering equitable opportunities to be healthy, housed and employed, keep our people out of jail, whilst working towards ensuring that future generations of Māori do not bear the weight of the same injustices imposed upon us, to have these efforts reversed.   

"We are once again taking to the roads, and invite you to walk with us. Bring your whānau and tangata tiriti mates along and lets hit the bricks!"