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New Zealand anti-lockdown protest is mercilessly mocked online

Hilarious footage has emerged of a tiny group of protesters who gathered to rally against New Zealand’s second lockdown.

The eight-strong group gathered at Auckland Aotea Square on Saturday to slam Jacinda Ardern as the city returned to level three lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

An image of the demonstration posted on Twitter on Sunday showed picketers milling about and waiting for others to arrive.

‘I don’t think I will ever stop laughing at this Auckland anti-lockdown protest photo,’ the caption read.

The social media user left a follow-up comment on Monday claiming a further 12 people appeared later in the day, bringing the total to 20.

People in the comments noted the initial group were within the ten-person limit.

‘Looks like they kept under the crowd limit – how thoughtful!’ one user wrote.

Others joked about the low turnout in a city of 1.6 million people.

‘Goodness. It’s a massive crowd. Well, it would be, if it was being held in a garden shed,’ one woman wrote.

‘Are you sure they aren’t just lost on their way somewhere else?’ another asked. 

‘Can you sure they weren’t just waiting for the bus?’ asked someone else. 

Footage of the lackluster event was also shared on YouTube and featured lonely protesters holding signs, as police in face masks told them to go home.

A woman named Carol who donned a sign that read ‘save our economy’ and ‘God bless New Zealand’ said she was ‘concerned about our economy’.

‘[The government] won’t even tell us if people have suicided over [the lockdowns].’

‘No one has ever seen anything like this before. This is unfamilar ground for everyone, and they’re frightened.’

After an officer told another protester to leave, he replied: ‘Come try arrest us next week. There’s 1,000 of us coming here’.

The next protest is set for Saturday August 22  at the same location in the middle of Auckland, but only 302 residents have clicked ‘attending’ on the Facebook event.

A further 1,200 people have marked themselves as ‘interested’ in the demonstration that promises to ‘keep the government in check’.

‘We will be taking a stand towards the people holding power over the decisions that are made for our nation,’ the event details read.

‘We would like all COVID-19 legislation and policies repealed as they violate our human rights and allow too much power to the Government and their agencies.’

The country is currently battling 90 active infections: 69 linked to a community cluster in Auckland, 20 in returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one separate infection in a maintenance worker at the Rydges Hotel. 

While Auckland is in leven three lockdowns, the rest of New Zealand has been placed at level two, which mandates social distancing and caps on gathering sizes.

The source of the fresh Kiwi outbreak is still yet to be determined.

New Zealand and Australian officials are collaborating over a possible link through a freight business with outlets in Melbourne and Auckland.   

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