Wed, Jan 12, 2022 2:17 PM

Vaccine pass protesters target Tasman Libraries

Protesters have gathered outside Richmond Library this afternoon in protest of Tasman District Council's entry requirement of a vaccination pass that has come into effect today. Photo: Erin Bradnock.

Erin Bradnock

Following an “aggressive” protest outside a Tasman District Council building on Tuesday, protesters have gathered outside Richmond Library on Wednesday afternoon.

After a brief stop outside Motueka Public Library around 11am on Wednesday, around 40 protesters travelled to Queen St Richmond to protest the introduction of vaccination pass requirements for council libraries.

As of Wednesday January 12, visitors to Tasman District libraries will require a vaccine pass for entry.

Signs from protesters read “shame on Tasman Council” and “R.I.P to weekly family library visits”.
Other signs protested the use of vaccines and mandates generally, one reading “vaccines are harming people” and another “Nazi Germany again?”.

Richmond Library staff said protesters had not tried to enter the building and were told by Voices for Freedom members that it would be a peaceful protest.

The Richmond demonstration follows an “aggressive” protest outside a council building in Golden Bay on Tuesday.

Tasman District Council staff hid in the backroom after 20 protestors entered the council’s Tākaka Service Centre on Commercial St at about 11am on Tuesday, according to Tasman District Council communications officer Tim O’Connell.

Tim says staff managed the situation by heading away from the front counter to a back room that required a swipe key for entry.

According to Tim chalk markings outside the building alluded to their discontent with vaccination passes required for libraries in the region.

A police spokesperson says a police report was filed after a group were seen to be “acting in a disorderly manner and refusing to leave”.

The group disbursed shortly after police arrived.

The building was closed in response until 1pm Tuesday.

Tim says additional security measures for Tasman council buildings are being discussed.