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'Family fun day out': Anti-mandate group gearing up for Auckland protest despite council disapproval

Newshub logo Newshub 14/01/2022 Molly Swift
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An anti-COVID-19 mandate group founded by Brian Tamaki is gearing up for a protest they are branding a "family fun day out" in Auckland this Saturday.

The event at Manukau Sports Bowl, which will be followed by a march, will have attendees from all around the North Island, the Freedom and Rights Coalition (TFRC) said in a Facebook post.

The post said the venue was changed to south Auckland to make it more accessible for people travelling from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty to attend, as well as some of the team's bail conditions.

"Some of our TFRC team have bail conditions that ban them from going to the Auckland Domain. I'm sure we can all agree that us all being together in number, no matter where it is, is what's important," the group said.

Acting Auckland Council Director Customer and Community Services Mirla Edmundson said the council is aware of the planned event, but does not support it.

"As the landowner of the grounds, the council does not permit, endorse, or support this event going ahead and we have written to the organisers to make our position on this clear," Edmundson said in a statement.

"While we respect people's rights to peaceful protest, we have serious concerns that the gathering may result in the spread of COVID-19 and risk the health of Aucklanders."

Edmundson said there are no activities booked for the velodrome this weekend.

"We will be keeping the access gates locked in a bid to prevent damage to Auckland Council property, and have put the organisers on notice that we will seek any costs for repairs from them, should they be required as a result of this weekend’s activity," the statement said.

"We are in touch with the Police and will support them in any action they deem necessary on the day to prevent a breach of the law or damage to public property."

Police said they are aware of the planned event and will be monitoring the situation on the day for any issues that may arise.

This event follows a similar protest by the group on January 8 in Christchurch which upset local residents.

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