“While the Government continues to restrict the size of social gatherings to 100, today’s protesters must play by same rules as the rest of us,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT believes New Zealand should be at Level 1 now, restrictions on the size of social gatherings should be lifted, and peaceful protests over George Floyd’s death should be allowed to proceed today.

“However, if the Government intends to keep New Zealand at Level 2, the rules should be enforced at today’s protests.

“The Level 2 rules say social gatherings that exceed 100 people are prohibited.

“There should be no exception for particular causes.

“Organisations of every kind are facing restrictions, including political parties in election year. Before the lockdown, it was not unusual to see more than 100 people at a political event. Now, that’s not allowed and can’t be planned.

“As long as we remain at Level 2, we all need to play by the same rules.

“New Zealanders have made enormous sacrifices to beat Covid-19. Business owners have lost livelihoods and tens of thousands workers have lost jobs. New Zealanders have accepted unprecedented restrictions on their civil liberties.

“It would be unacceptable for the authorities to make an exception to the rules for a particular cause.

“If Covid-19 remains a threat, the Government should enforce the rules at today’s protests. If it is no longer a threat, the Government should remove the remaining restrictions.”