People gathered in Auckland today to protest, among other things, against lockdowns, the United Nations and vaccination.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Aotea Square in the central city, breaching Alert Level 3 gathering restrictions in Auckland, claiming they were there on a “liberty march”.
Advance New Zealand co-leader Jami-Lee Ross and New Conservative deputy leader Elliot Ikilei were also spotted in the crowd.
Protesters raised a number of issues, including false claims the Covid-19 pandemic was planned.
However, Kristian Andersen, who studies the virus at Scripps Research in California, told the Associated Press in May the odds of the virus coming from a lab was at “a million to one”, and that it was more likely to have come from nature.
They also protested against globalisation under the United Nations for its Sustainable Development Goals Programme (Agenda 2030). The conspiracy theory claims the agenda would give elites control over the population. The conspiracy also claims 1080, 5G and fluoridation are tools for population control, despite there being no proof this is the case.
Protesters also made incorrect assumptions that vaccinations were mandatory. The Government has not passed any law requiring people to be vaccinated.
It comes as Advance New Zealand released a misleading video on social media claiming the Government was trying to pass a law to force Kiwis to be vaccinated.
Mr Ross refused to take down the video, despite the fact it edited footage from Parliament of Megan Woods, the Minister in charge of managed isolation and quarantine, and National MP Erica Stanford to be deceptive.
The video was also misleadingly captioned: "Last week Labour rushed through a law change under urgency to enable them to force our citizens to be vaccinated."
The Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which the two MPs were discussing in the video, states that the Minister or Director-General could make an order to require a person to "satisfy any specified criteria before entering New Zealand".
Those orders can only be made under a specific set of circumstances, such as that it "does not limit or is a justified limit on the rights and freedoms in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act".
Earlier this month, Ms Stanford was asking Ms Woods about the provision for people entering the country.
"Just to be absolutely clear: this legislation in this part lays the potential future groundwork for people to be required to be vaccinated before they enter New Zealand," she asked.
"It would allow the legal instruments if that was a requirement. I’m not saying it will be. I’m saying it does allow the framework," Ms Woods said.
However, the clip did not contain the part about the law referring to people returning from overseas.
AFP fact checker Taylor Thompson-Fuller called the clip misleading, and told 1 NEWS there was "no mention of mandatory vaccinations or any sort of forced vaccination programme like it was claimed" during the debate in Parliament.
Mr Ross will now face the Parliamentary Privileges committee on Monday over the video, which has the power to censure MPs.