Thousands protest outside New Zealand’s parliament
Published: Aug 23, 2022 09:03 PM
About 2,000 anti-government demonstrators gathered outside New Zealand's parliament on Tuesday to vent their frustration on a range of issues nearly six months after protesters were forcibly removed from the grounds of the legislature.

The protesters, organized by the Freedom and Rights Coalition, arrived from around New Zealand and assembled on the lawns outside parliament in the capital Wellington as politicians worked inside.

People, some with placards calling for freedom, were protesting over a range of issues including tighter environmental regulations for farmers, a government bid to take over regionally owned water assets and now largely removed ­COVID-19 restrictions.

"Our government, they're not really working for us," said protester Danny Hanif who had traveled from his home near the town of Hamilton.

Hanif told Reuters the government was not listening to people on the issue of the ownership of water assets.

Police in March ended an anti-vaccine protest that had disrupted the capital for three weeks, dismantling an encampment in the same location, towing away vehicles and arresting dozens. 

On Tuesday, about 250 counter-­protesters also gathered in a bid to counter hate, homophobia, bigotry and disinformation from the far right, organizers of the ­counter-protest said in a Facebook post.

Approval ratings for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Labour party have plummeted with support in the latest 1News Kantar Public Poll at 33 percent, down from 41 percent at the end of 2021.