Information relating to protest activity

During the period of 6 February to 2 March, illegal protest activity took place on the Parliament grounds and surrounding streets of central Wellington.

The Police led the response to the protest, because of their specialist skills and expertise. The Council provided support to Police as requested. As well as working closely with Police, we established a dedicated Council team to address the wide-ranging operational issues that emerged. There were significant complexities and risks at the site, including risks to staff safety.

This protest activity resulted in:

  • vehicles illegally blocking roads in central Wellington
  • closure of the bus terminal on Lambton Quay
  • damage to city infrastructure
  • graffiti
  • damage to the Parliament grounds.

Council warranted Constables under section 177 of the Local Government Act 2002 to enable them to exercise seizure and impoundment powers under section 164. 

Council authorised Police to exercise powers under the Trespass Act 1980 in respect of Council Reserve Land and legal roads, including footpaths and other public places in the vicinity of the Parliament grounds.

Communications surrounding these actions have been withheld under legal privilege.

Parking infringements

Our Parking Officers were eventually able to ticket vehicles parked illegally around Parliament in conjunction with Police.

Between the period of 10 February and 1 March, 615 parking infringements were issued. A breakdown by date, street, and infringement reason is linked below. We have also included data on the number of tickets paid and the date this payment took place.

Once ticketed, people have 28 days to make payment and then a reminder notice will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. If payment is not received after that it will be referred for collection. If people wish to appeal their ticket, they have 28 days to do so.

Protest parking infringement data (102KB PDF)

Protest parking communications (295KB PDF)

Administrative communication such as that regarding meeting times and draft media responses has not been included. Also excluded is communication sent to or received by members of the public. Any redactions that have been made are for privacy reasons.

There were few text messages between Chief Customer and Community Officer and Parking Services Manager, the majority of communication was over the phone.

The texts related to the below subjects:.

  • Setting up phone call times.
  • We are working with Police to assist in their operation.
  • Discussions around staff safety and any potential follow up needed.
  • Planning for ticketing.
  • Request to keep the Mayor’s Office updated.

Communications between Council and other agencies

Both the Mayor and Chief Executive received regular updates from Police, however these were mostly verbal so not captured in email or text.  Regular meetings were held virtually between the Mayor, the WCC Chief Executive, Minister Williams, the Commissioner of Police, the Speaker, and Prime Minister. The attendees varied due to availability.

Correspondence with other agencies (802KB PDF)

Mayoral correspondence Parliament protests (71KB PDF)

Cost of protest

WCC is responsible for the clean-up of Council land and property. The costs below do not include Victoria University or Parliament grounds.

Parliament is on Crown land, so it is the responsibility of the Department of Internal Affairs to organise the clear up and disposal of this rubbish. Rubbish left on Victoria University of Wellington grounds is the responsibility of the university.

A full financial breakdown is not yet available, as this has not been finalised in our financial system. An estimate of costs is below.

Road maintenance and street lighting contractor costs related to the protest and its aftermath are estimated to be $235,000. This is made up of:

  • concrete block transportation
  • repairs to footpath assets – pavers etc.
  • repairs to road assets
  • repairs to signage
  • repairs to street furniture – benches etc.
  • street light pole replacement – two poles damaged
  • response to hazards created by protest action – sump top replacement, refitting manholes etc.
  • rubbish removal – protesters rubbish after closure of the area
  • street cleaning – pavement washing, channel cleaning etc.
  • sump cleaning
  • graffiti removal (not including cenotaph)
  • line marking replacement
  • traffic management – cones etc.

Council’s direct costs related to the protest and its aftermath are estimated to be $100,000. This is made up of:

  • parks and gardens plant replacement on road corridors
  • Lambton interchange cleaning
  • Lambton interchange security
  • traffic signal repairs
  • Cenotaph cleaning
  • staff time.

The Mayor’s diary from 4 February through to 4 March

The Mayor’s Office has provided details of his diary for this period, which includes information regarding interactions with the protesters.

Mayor’s diary (114KB PDF)