Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Second arrest over mass anti-lockdown protest

A second person has been charged over organising a mass anti-lockdown protest led by Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the gathering illegal and a “slap in the face” for Aucklanders.

Police said a man, 57, has been summonsed to appear in Auckland District Court in relation to organising the gathering at Auckland Domain on Saturday.

He is due to appear in court next Tuesday, along with Tamaki who was summonsed yesterday.

The man has been charged with breaching the Covid19 Public Health Response Act 2020 and Alert Level 3 Order.

An investigation is continuing and police cannot rule out further charges or enforcement action against others involved in the event, police said today.

Yesterday Brian Tamaki was charged and summonsed to court after organising and speaking at the mass gathering outside Auckland’s War Memorial Museum.

He is also scheduled to appear at Auckland District Court next Tuesday on charges relating to breaching the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 and alert level 3 order.

He said he was surprised by the charges and will defend them in court.

Tamaki claimed he had been “open and worked collaboratively with police” before the event.

“I am prepared to stand up and be heard when I see injustice and suffering”, saying he was “certainly not afraid to do so on any occasion, let alone at this vital time”.

Everyone from bikers to children attended the protest against the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions over the city.

The gathering caused outrage among Aucklanders – almost 150,000 signed an online petition and Auckland mayor Phil Goff called for Tamaki to face sanctions.

Ardern confirmed the protest was illegal but would not say if there should have been arrests, saying it was an operational matter for the police.

Police said the event was “frustrating for our communities” and said their response on the day was planned.

On Saturday Auckland remained under alert level 3, where gatherings of up to 10 people were allowed for funerals, tangihanga and weddings only.

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