The protests were caused by the New Zealand Government imposing a nation wide lockdown on the country at 11:59 pm on the 17th of August 2021. the following day at 9:00 am over 100 protestors took to the streets of Tauranga and started to protest against the lockdown.
The first protest occurred at 9:00am on the 18th of August 2021 in Tauranga New Zealand and composed of 103 protestors. They were yelling that they deserved freedom and were waving both confederate and nazi flags, which had been recognised as illegal in New Zealand that year. about 10 police officers arrived on the scene but were met with violence and many protestors started to attack police officers. The officers were immediately overwhelmed but by the time the protestors had subdued all the officers, 4 protestors had been hit with tasers and were unconscious. More police officers and defence forces rushed to the scene but by the time they got there the protestors had dispersed and all that was left was the 13 unconscious people: 10 police officers and 4 protestors. The protestors were swiftly arrested and ambulances rushed to the scene to collect the injured police officers. that left 99 protestors wanted for arrest.
First protest aftermath
Immediately after the incident NZDF and New Zealand police forces arrived by the truckload trying to figure out what happened. Along with the armed forces there were New Zealand fire service and St John ambulance dealing with a car fire and the 14 unconscious. By 6:00 pm that night the scene was wrapped up. 99 arrest warrants were issued.
Government press conference
The following was said by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster at the 1:00 pm daily press conference on the 18th of August 2021
Jacinda Ardern: "Now onto more pressing matters; the protest in Tauranga this morning. At exactly 9:00 am this morning many protestors took to Cameron Street in Tauranga, they were protesting against the level 4 lockdown imposed on New Zealand yesterday. Flags were being waved that Coster will go into more detail soon. The breach was reported on the police website and due to the scale of it, Tauranga central police station sent 10 officers to deal with it. All 10 were rendered unconscious by the protestors and all are now in a stable condition in Tauranga hospital. Police Commissioner Andrew Coster will now go into more detail."
Andrew Coster: "Thank you Prime Minister, yes 10 officers were deployed to the scene after police were alerted of the incident at 9:00 am. The 10 officers arrived in 5 patrol vehicles at 9:11 am. All 10 were Tauranga residents. The protestors reportedly hit the vehicles repeatedly with weapons such as baseball bats and steel rods. The officers called for backup and were told to wait in their cars, but as their windows were smashed they got out to try and stop the offenders with batons and tasers. They were overwhelmed and within 2 minutes all 10 officers were unconscious in and around their cars. Eyewitness accounts then state that the protestors, who were waving Nazi and Confederate flags, set one of the vehicles alight and fled the scene very quickly. By 9:23 am 20 more officers had arrived along with 5 defence force personnel, 3 ambulances, and a fire engine."
Jacinda Ardern: "This is a shocking event for New Zealand and especially for the residents of Tauranga. But as always Kia Kaha and we will bounce back!"(journalists begin yelling)
On the 19th of August 2021 at 10:00am 237 protestors, including the 99 that weren't in custody from the previous days protest, marched down the main street of Tauranga yet again. But this time the protest was lead by political party leader Bob Tamaroon which changed a lot. They were still waving Nazi and Confederate flag but this time they were waving a new one too. The Free New Zealand flag. This flag had been designed by the Advance New Zealand party as a way to push against the lockdown restrictions.
Since the first protest the day before, the police force had learned a lot, so instead of 10 officers arriving there were 30 and 10 defence force personnel. This time they travelled in 6 riot vans. The classification changed from protest to riot when the protestors began waving guns and other weapons. Most of the police on the scene had driven in from Auckland the day before in response to the previous days events. This time the officers were armed and tried to contain the riot as soon as they exited the vehicles they got 15 arrests before the gunfight started.
The gunfight started as soon as 3 officers made a move on Bob Tamaroon, one of the heavily and illegally armed people at the front shot a short burst at one of the officers. 1 bullet hit and the officer turned around in an instant. The man shot another burst and the officer fell to the ground. At this moment it turned to chaos as many other rioters loaded their weapons and followed suite. The police were also well armed but because of the shear amount of rioters they had to retreat to the vans and wait for even MORE police and NZDF forces to arrive.
The rioters shot at, rammed, and attacked the riot vans for 40 minutes before another 4 riot vans and 3 humvees of STG and New Zealand Defence Force. most of the rioters the fled but some started shooting at the new vehicles which only got them 5 army soldiers pointing guns at them. 8 more arrests were made by the STG and the army which totaled to 23 arrests 18 of those participated in the protest the previous day. Add the 5 arrested the previous day and the 10 unconscious on the road, you have 38 out of 237 wanted offenders in custody. Some of the rioters had set a civilian car on fire and smashed many windows in cars and buildings that surrounded the site of the incident which resulted in the fire service turning up yet again. 2 fire engines and 5 ambulances arrived along with the police commissioner himself. The scene was not fully cleaned up for weeks. But most importantly a political party leader was now labeled as a wanted criminal. The casualties at the end of the day were: 3 dead (1 police and 2 rioters) 16 in a stable condition at Tauranga Hospital (10 rioters and 6 police) and 5 other police officers who had moderate injuries. Many protestors had moderate injuries but they all fled
The third and final protest held in Tauranga was at 11:00 am on the 20th August 2021. This protest was not on Cambell street like the others, because Cambell street was then home to 10 heavily armed police officers and the wreckage of the last protest. This time they held it on Mt Maunganui beach. This time 268 people turned up with their guns, Nazi and Confederate flags, and advance New Zealand propaganda in hand ready to cause more havoc. Within 5 minutes of the protest beginning 15 defence force personnel, 30 officers and 10 STG arrived in numerous vehicles. After numerous shots were fired towards the protestors, they all fled in various directions. Tasers were fired but none of the hit so eventually the police ended up chasing one of the larger mobs that were fleeing. They eventually caught that mob and arrested the 12 that were in it with minimal resistance. that left 50 out of 268 arrested.
Social media posts
From Bob Tamaroon at 3:00 pm 20th August Effective immediately I will be creating Free New Zealand, a new political party.