By 1 News
Controversial musician and former political candidate Billy Te Kahika was arrested in Auckland yesterday afternoon after police converged on an anti-lockdown protest of around 50 people.
The protest, staged outside TVNZ on the corner of Victoria and Hobson streets, was in response to the alert level 4 lockdown issued by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday following a case of Covid-19 in the community being discovered.
The event lasted 43 minutes before Te Kahika was eventually arrested, despite his pleas to the crowd around him to protect him from law enforcement.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster later confirmed four people were arrested at the gathering along with four others being arrested in Tauranga at a separate gathering.
During Te Kahika's arrest, he said he hoped the event wouldn't turn violent and he urged police to take him away as soon as possible to reduce the chances of angry protestors reacting poorly.
He also told those around him that the police officers attending the protest were good people simply doing their job.
During the protest, Te Kahika and others gave speeches in which they called the snap lockdown - initially seven days for Auckland - concerning, with one woman going as far as calling Ardern a "rat".
The Prime Minister said at her Covid-19 update in Wellington on Wednesday she was "disappointed" there were some New Zealanders choosing to put others at risk.
"I don't want to let the action of small numbers actually characterise everyone, because that's just not the case," she said.