3rd Marc 2022
A very good summary of what went so badly wrong at Parliament grounds….
Former Police Negotiator Lance Burdett told the AM show that mistakes were made early on when handling the protests – but they weren’t made by police.
Instead, Burdett turned the blame to Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard, hitting out at him over his early tactics to move the protesters on.
“Initially, I think turning the sprinklers on and playing music was a bit of an error. That was an error because if you push on people today, they push back twice as hard.”
He said while there was already some bad behaviour early on, there were a core group of people who were trying to peacefully protest. But turning the sprinklers on agitated the situation.
“Police are responsible for maintaining law and order – that’s their role, they wouldn’t have had any influence (over the sprinklers),” Burdett said.
Burdett said that another mistake was the Government’s refusal to engage with the occupiers.
“As time went on, no one was there to talk. I would expect the Prime Minister would not talk – I would expect she would be too busy… but somebody senior from Parliament could have gone and spoken.”
He said the meeting should have happened away from the scenes of the protest and would have helped ease tensions.
Well said, Lance.
Sadly the political (and media) response to the protest only “radicalised” it so that the important messages were lost – and fringe radical groups were empowered.
Ironically, Jacinda Ardern said that the views of the protesters were due to “misinformation” and “overseas influence”, and was not worthy of the government’s consideration, but these were the same views validated last week by the New Zealand High Court – a breach of the Bill of Rights Act.