News and Information – Parliament Occupation FAQs

What do we do with protesters who dump human waste in the gutters?
The Greater Wellington Environmental Protection Team is currently investigating raw sewage flowing into the storm water system around the Houses of Parliament area. These wastes currently flow into the western part of the port. LAWA has updated its website to advise people to avoid swimming, recreation and fishing in the harbor until notified.

Did the protesters plug toilets into the storm drain system?
We can confirm that two wooden toilet cubicles were built at the protest site. These are fully functional toilets with flush cisterns. The waste enters the waste water sewer system. This is clearly an illegal connection, but given the circumstances, we are not prepared to send our employees into the cordon to attempt to remove these structures. We are working with the Greater Wellington Regional Council to better understand why this was not stopped by the police.

What’s going on with the toilet block that was parked during the protest?
Council and police are aware of a shower facility which appeared on Monday morning. The police have now removed the unit from the occupation site.

Will the Council declare a state of emergency?
No. At this point, the New Zealand Police, as the lead agency, have advised us that they do not require any further legal powers to deal with the situation.

Why isn’t the Council doing more to eliminate the protesters?
The police are leading the response to the protest, due to their specialist skills and expertise. The Council provides all support to the police upon request. Given the significant complexities and risks present at the site, Council officers will not undertake regulatory responses that are inconsistent with and approved by police strategy.

Why doesn’t the WCC tow vehicles?
The Council works with the police and will take their directives. The overall safety of our employees is a number one priority.

Why do I have to pay for parking and not protesters?
People are required to pay for parking during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. citywide. We are aware that the demonstrators have not paid for parking near the demonstration and we have already taken enforcement action with the support of the police. We continue to monitor the situation and will follow police directives while ensuring the overall safety of our staff.

Why are illegally parked cars not ticketed?
Our parking officers have already issued tickets to a large number of illegally parked vehicles around Parliament in conjunction with the police. We are working with the police to do this in a way that is safe for our staff.

How does the Council respond to health and safety issues in Parliament – access to water, sanitation, food sales/food truck permits?
For all food trucks on site, we will verify that they are licensed to sell food. There are porta-loos on site (not provided by the town hall) and the demonstrators have access to water.

Why isn’t Parliament subject to water restrictions?
The Parliament is supplied with water by the companies and is not subject to the same restrictions as the residents.

Will you revoke licenses from food trucks serving protesters/illegally parked?
Licenses can only be revoked through a legal process, and initial assessments indicate there is no food law violation.

What should I do if I don’t feel safe?
Any harassment or abuse should be reported to the police.

Why did you provide porta-loos to protesters?
These were not provided by the Council.

What will you do with the garbage and waste left by the demonstrators? Who will pay to remove it?
The disposal of garbage and waste is the responsibility of the owner of the land.
Rubbish left on the grounds of Parliament. As this is Crown land, it is the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs to arrange for the cleanup and disposal of this waste.
Rubbish left on the grounds of Victoria University of Wellington. As this is university land, it is the responsibility of Victoria University of Wellington to arrange for cleaning and disposal of such waste.
Waste left in trash cans and on the street. As this is municipal land, the council is responsible for cleanup and disposal of rubbish and street cleaning.

What will you do to support businesses that have had to close?
We recognize that this is a very difficult time for businesses within the precincts of Parliament. We are urgently seeking a response that helps help Wellington businesses in the area recover.

What will you do if emergency vehicles cannot get through?
Emergency vehicles have been advised of restricted access locations – any emergency vehicles that require access will be offered alternate routes and we will support them with traffic management and traffic lights as appropriate applicable.

Who will pay to repair damage to lawns and other public property?
Damage to lawns and public property will be handled between Council road maintenance teams and PSR teams.

How are pop-up kitchens allowed to operate without a license – isn’t it dangerous?
The pop-up kitchens do not appear to sell food – so the council is not directly involved in regulating the activity.

What is being done to protect the well-being of children at the event?
The police are monitoring the situation closely and will provide the necessary follow-up.

Is it legal to camp for freedom anywhere now?
Parliament lands are not covered by the WCC free camping regulations in Schedule 1.

What happens if I refuse to pay for my parking ticket?

Once the ticket is issued, individuals have 28 days to make payment and then a reminder notice will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. If payment is not received after this it will be referred for collection. If people wish to appeal their ticket, they have 28 days to do so.

What should I do if I need to access library services at He Matapihi Molesworth Branch?
Our He Matapihi Molesworth Library remains closed until further notice due to access issues at the National Library building. The National Library is also closed. If you have any pending reservations, rest assured that these will be held for you until we can reopen. Items due can be returned to any Wellington City Libraries branch. Please excuse us for any problem.

How do we issue tickets for cars without registration or license plate?
Failure to display a number plate or license plate does not necessarily mean that we cannot issue a ticket and the Town Hall will issue a ticket if we are able to do so.

Will we be canceling contracts with towing companies / will there be repercussions for towing companies that refuse to operate?
The Board cannot comment on existing contractual arrangements. Police continue to work directly with tow operators

What happens to vehicles that have been parked by protesters and have exceeded their time limit? Will they be verbalized?
If a member of the public feels they have received a ticket unfairly, they are welcome to appeal and we will investigate the circumstances surrounding that ticket when they appeal.

How are complaints about noise from protesters handled?
The police and council have shared responsibilities with respect to noise abatement enforcement. The council is ultimately dependent on the police to enforce any excessive noise abatement requirements under sections 327 and 328 of the Resource Management Act. The police are taking the lead in managing the response to the protest and it is important that the Council’s response does not interfere with this. This includes noise control. The Council has discretion as to how and when to undertake enforcement, this is specified in its enforcement policy. The council will assist the police as needed.

Why did Metlink (part of the Greater Wellington Regional Council) remove services from the Lambton interchange?
Following a risk assessment over the weekend for the parliamentary protest, the decision was made to close the interchange. Additionally, given the abundance of vehicles using the interchange as parking, the ability of buses to service the area or stop over safely has been compromised. Everyone’s safety and well-being are at the forefront of our plans and ongoing diversions.

What does this mean for bus services using the Lambton Interchange?
Customers heading to Wellington Station (northbound):
Customers will need to disembark at stop 5012 (Farmers, Lambton Quay) or stop 5018 (Opposite Capital Gateway, Thorndon Quay)
Customers heading into the city from Wellington Station (southbound):
Instead of the Lambton Interchange A, B and C stops, customers should instead proceed to the temporary stop on Brandon Street where services depart from.
Bowen Street:
Routes 2, 14 and 22 will continue to use Bowen Street. Route 14 services will continue to run along the current bypass via Lambton Quay and Bowen Street. Route 22 services will begin and end at the temporary bus terminus stop on Brandon Street instead of the Lambton Interchange.
School routes:
The following school services that usually depart from Wellington Interchange will now depart from stop 5506 (Lambton Quay near David Jones). Drivers have been notified and will allow students time to walk from the station to Lambton Quay.
751 – Wellington – St Patrick’s and Rongotai Colleges
784 – Scots College – Hataitai – Mount Victoria – Wellington

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