The number of protestors joining the crowd at the anti-mandate demonstration is steadily growing, after a subdued start to the day.

No captionMore people joined the protest yesterday, taking numbers up to about 1000, but rain last night drove numbers down to about 500. Photo: RNZ


Hundreds of people are on the parliament lawn, though some have been driven away by the heavy rain and winds lashing the capital.

A cheer erupts from the crowd each time a sudden and forceful gust of wind and downpour of rain blasts the demonstration.

The playlist booming through parliament’s loudspeakers changed about 11, and now includes a out of tune recorder rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go On’, the Titanic theme song by Celine Dion.

UK musician James Blunt earlier posted on Twitter telling the New Zealand police to contact him if the Barry Manilow music, which was playing, did not deter protestors.

His suggestion has been enacted, with his song ‘You’re Beautiful’ now on rotation.

Both songs and the government’s spoken message advising the crowd to leave the grounds are being met with loud booing and chants of ‘Freedom’.

Molesworth Street remains blocked by cars, campervans and trucks and Metlink has stopped all buses using its Lambton Interchange until further notice because of the protest.

Retailers say disruption to surrounding streets has also affected their trade.

Superintendent Scott Fraser said police would continue to have a significant presence at Parliament grounds and are exploring options to resolve the disruption.