Hundreds of protesters, inspired by Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’, have gathered in the country
An opposition to a mandate for Covid vaccinations is part of the demonstrations “imported protest,”Jacinda, New Zealand’s Prime Minster, said Monday. “Trump flags” “Canadian flags” being waved outside the country’s parliament.
Ardern spoke to TVNZ and condemned protesters, who are now in their second week outside the Beehive building. Despite being ordered by police to disperse them.
Over the weekend, hundreds of protestors braved torrential downpours to ask for complete elimination of the Covid public health measures.
Ardern denied that request, and claimed it would be made “at the very point where we are 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,” she told a news conference late on Monday.
The protests in New Zealand follow the ‘Freedom Convoy’ truckers anti-vaccine-mandate demonstrations in Canada, which have seen drivers block traffic around Ottawa and on the bridge border crossing between Canada and the United States.
The statement from Ardern comes as the country’s High Court began hearing a case against her government filed by citizens living abroad, accusing it of unlawfully denying New Zealanders the right to return home.
Despite New Zealand only recording 18,963 confirmed cases of Covid since the start of the pandemic – one of the lowest levels in the world – the government has maintained strict border restrictions, limiting access to the nation even for its own citizens.
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