Police Minister Ginny Andersen defends handling of anti-trans protest in Auckland

Police Minister Ginny Andersen defends handling of anti-trans protest in Auckland

Police are reviewing social media and CCTV footage of Saturday’s protest at Auckland’s Albert Park and Queen street against anti-trans activist Posie Parker to determine if any offending occurred.

Charges could still be on the card for the protester who poured tomato juice on Posie Parker and other attendees who were filmed punching or throwing people to the ground.

Less than a week into the job, new Police Minister Ginny Andersen is also facing questions about whether police presence at the event was sufficient.

Speaking with Tova O'Brien on Tuesday morning, Ginny Andersen denied claims police were too slow to act.

"As soon as it was clear that there was a potential safety risk to the Albert Park events speaker, she [Posie Parker] was escorted from the area by police," Andersen said.

"I don't have an accurate number [of police] but there was a good frontage of police and the main focus of police was to maintain public safety."

O'Brien asked Andersen if she truly believes public safety was maintained, pointing out that footage posted to social media showed people being physically assaulted at the protests.

"I've seen that there's been a number of incidents and I've been informed that police, while they didn't make any arrests on the day, they'll continue to make enquiries into all reports of offending during the events on Saturday."

"You're reading from talking points, I can tell, because that wasn't my question," O'Brien rebutted.

"Are you confident that police maintained the safety of everyone at that event?" O'Brien asked again. 

"I think they did a good job on the day, yes," Andersen said.

"Do you? Have you seen the same footage I've seen?" O'Brien asked.

"I think it's an incredibly difficult event to police," Anderen responded.

"People are really, really tense and wound up, no matter which side of the issue you're on. People feel incredibly strongly about it and that's reflected in the fact that it was a difficult issue to keep under control. 

"I was told that the operation was done in order to ensure that public safety was maintained right across that area during the day."

O'Brien and Andersen go on to discuss the current policing situation in Eskdale following Cyclone Gabrielle as well as Marama Davidson's 'white cis men' comment

Listen to the full interview between Ginny Andersen and Tova above.

You can also download the full interview on the Tova podcast, and listen on the go. 

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