Police in riot gear have demolished tents and removed protestors from Parliament grounds. You can watch the livestream here on our Facebook page.

Key points:

- All protestors and tents have been removed from Parliament grounds

- Many remain on the perimeter with some throwing paving bricks at police

- A large fire broke out on the children's playground on Parliament earlier this afternoon

- At least 60 protestors have been arrested and Police and protestors injured

- Police say 50 vehicles have been moved, by forklifts or tow-trucks

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called today's events an 'attack on our values'

Speaking to media at 5.30pm, the Prime Minister said it "stands so completely against, not only our response to Covid, but who we are as people."

"It was an attack on our frontline police, it was an attack on our Parliament, it was an attack on our values and it was wrong."

She said police advised her there were around 270 protestors who were causing the "acts of violence and destruction" today. "It takes only a relatively small group of people."

“We have all at times felt angry during this occupation," she said. 

"After all, when we are in the middle of a pandemic, have 400 people hospitalised, and 20,000 people becoming sick in just one day, it's almost incomprehensible to comprehend that people would be opposed to efforts to slow that down and to help care for our most vulnerable.”

She says New Zealanders will not be defined by a small handful of protesters.

A fire broke out around 4pm on the grounds in the middle of the camp, around what looks to be the playground area. 

Some protestors threw items on the fire, before firefighters attended the scene and put out the blaze.

Police have removed all protestors from the grounds, but a large number remain just outside the perimeter. Some have dug up paving bricks from the path outside Parliament, and are throwing them at throwing them at police.

A second fire was lit near the Cenotaph, on the perimeter of the grounds.

Earlier today, police tried to get protesters to leave

This morning protesters were getting pepper sprayed and could be seen washing it off with milk.

In a statement, police said this was a pre-planned operation which has "gained significant ground". 

Around 60 people have been arrested and police said they were disappointed to see protesters with "various weapons". 

"These included, but were not limited to, the use of fire extinguishers as weapons, a cord set up as a trip wire, paint-filled projectiles, homemade plywood shields and pitchforks."

A laser was also pointed at the police helicopter. 

At least three police staff have been an injured, the statement said.

"Protesters have repeatedly been reminded that Parliament grounds are closed, and that remaining there means they are trespassing."

For four weeks, anti-mandate protesters have taken over Parliament's lawns - setting up an illegal tent city and parking cars on surrounding streets as well as Victoria University of Wellington's Pipitea campus and a nearby cathedral. 

Businesses have been impacted as people work from home and teenagers have been scared to walk to school, with one student telling Re: how she was yelled at for wearing her mask. Last week, schools such as Wellington Girls' College and St Mary's College were closed due to the protests and students were learning online.

On Wednesday at 6am, tense scenes began to play out near Parliament as more than 100 police officers could be seen marching down Bowen St. 

Forklifts were brought in and a helicopter has been circling the area while officers attempt to reduce the space available to those protesters. 

Police officers cleared protesters camping along Hill St near a cathedral and along Aitken St, which runs between the Court of Appeal and the National Library. 

Vehicles that are parked illegally were towed. 

Around 50 police officers with shields and helmets created a police front line, in a stand-off with protesters outside Parliament's grounds. 

Protesters rallied around parked cars and a caravan parked outside the Court of Appeal and were engaged in an ongoing shoving match.

Police said they were pleased with a number of people and vehicles that voluntarily left the protest area and that they "will continue to work with partner agencies to assist us with the safe movement of people, including helping them get their vehicles out safely if they wish to do so".

Locals have grown increasingly concerned about the protest - with iwi speaking out against the actions of protesters

On Monday, leaders of Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Ngā Iwi o Taranaki – with the tautoko of the Kiingitanga from Turangawaewae Marae – conducted a dawn ceremony at Pipitea Marae to bring a message of peace and unity to the ongoing protest on their tupuna whenua (ancestral lands) in central Wellington.

Taranaki Whānui chair Kara Puketapu-Dentice said iwi leaders across the motu have joined the call for a peaceful outcome.

“There has been a lot of hurt and it’s time to find a way forward to unite the nation again. We need to look to the future when we will be able to move freely and without fear of the sickness that Covid-19 has brought," Puketapu-Dentice said.

“Until then, we need to hang tough and respect our whenua, our moana, our marae, our raukura and each other.”

Top Image: A stand-off between protesters and police during the anti-mandate protest at Parliament. Photo: 1News

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