Police are asking protesters to move their cars to Sky Stadium to free up the road, and have criticised protesters for the "stress and concern" they are inflicting on local businesses.
Superintendent Corrie Parnell says police will be providing vehicle owners with information throughout the day on how to move their cars and trucks to the Stadium parking - which should be ready by 6.30pm.
He says the protest is causing distress to those in the surrounding area.
"The disruption to residents, schools and places of work, is creating real stress and concern, and people are feeling unsafe."
The Parliament occupation has entered its seventh day, and Parnell says there is now a real concern for the health of protesters and police monitoring the situation.
Weather conditions were cold and wet overnight, and Parnell says protesters need to go - and take their children with them.
"We now have concerns about the health risks posed and sanitation issues."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern agrees, saying today that "We all want them to leave".
Those gathered were an "imported form of protest" with a mix of Trump flags, Canadian flags and abusing members of the public for wearing a mask, Ardern told RNZ.
She believed the protest was anti-vaccine, not against the vaccine mandate.
Ardern told AM she did not approve of the tactics they had seen from the protesters.
"What we have seen out there seems much more anti-vaccination than anything else."
Some of the behaviour she had seen was "pure misinformation around the role of vaccines".
"We've seen some horrific behaviour down here.
Asked what her message to protesters was, Ardern said: "Go home - and take your children."
Mallard criticised for approach, protesters strike back
National Party deputy leader Nicola Willis has slammed Trevor Mallard for his "childish" attempts to clear protestors off the front lawn of Parliament.
Over the weekend, the Speaker of the House left sprinklers running through the night and blasted Barry Manilow music and Covid-19 ads through loudspeakers to try and shift the protestors, who are now in day seven of their occupation.
Willis told Newstalk ZB Wellington Mornings host Nick Mills his actions were "childish and provocative".
"This is now a police operation and his actions were not condoned by police and they were likely extremely unhelpful."
Willis said Mallard's actions poorly represented Parliament.
"He did not seek our views on his actions, he did not seek input from police, and frankly I think it's despicable."
Protesters have attempted to strike back at Mallard by signing him up as a member of the National Party, the Act Party - and to Pornhub.
Mallard told the NZ Herald this morning he received emails from all three groups thanking him for signing up as a member.
He did not know who did it - but suspected it was related to his attempts to dislodge the protesters by playing music and Covid-19 ads to them all weekend, as well as turning on the sprinklers.
He said he found it very amusing: "All three of those are equally unlikely."
He said within five minutes he had three subscribers on Pornhub, and another three people wanted to be friends.
He would not comment on his decision to try to oust the protesters using Barry Manilow, James Blunt, and a rendition of a Celine Dion song played on a recorder - but the music is no longer playing.
Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell said yesterday that it was not a tactic the Police would have used. Mallard has been derided by Act's David Seymour for being childish.
Neither the music nor Cyclone Dovi drove the protesters out, and tents are still being pitched on the lawn and the surrounding areas.
Occupation could still last for days - police
Former National MP Matt King joined the protest over the weekend and says he believes 98 per cent of them would leave if the mandates were removed.
"I believe we can remove most of them, if not all of them off if we get a rock-solid guarantee they will remove the mandates on a certain date," he told AM.
If police step in and begin arresting people again, more protesters would flock in, he said.
When asked how long it could go for, King said people were passionate about this issue and their human rights and felt there would be a tag team of people.
Parnell indicated yesterday that the protest would likely last for days at least, but negotiations were still being pursued.
He said about 400-500 people had consistently been in tents, the crowd peaked at about 3000, and police had spoken to key leaders and organisers.
"To date that hasn't been entirely successful," Parnell said on the occupation's sixth day, when New Zealand again broke daily records for new Covid-19 cases.
The risk of Covid spreading through the crowd was a major concern for police, Parnell said.
"Common logic would tell you in the presence of the audience we've got there, primarily no masks, a lot of non-vaccination mandate. That is a very real risk, not only to the occupiers but indeed to my staff."
Sanitation issues at the site were also a concern for police.
"Sanitisation has been in the form of portaloos down there ... some of the filming has being quite graphic, particularly around children, and on the grounds the squalor of the water, defecation and surrounding environments."
Protesters have voiced a range of grievances but many oppose Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
"End mandates, we go home," one of many signs read.
It seemed a likely goal of police was to ameliorate the more obstructive protest elements, and tolerate a lawful, long-haul protest.
Parnell said it was important to reach a stage where members of the public could get to work and go about their business.
"Our goal is to get that back to a state of lawful protest."
Parnell said police had asked protest organisers and factions to move vehicles blocking access in some nearby streets.
A secure place was set aside for any vehicles that might be towed, in the aim of freeing up public roads.
Using the Defence Force to move vehicles would not be ruled out, but Parnell said this was ideally something to be avoided.
Portaloos appeared to be under pressure and children were playing in unhygienic conditions, with possible faecal contamination on the ground, he said.
Former lead police negotiator Lance Burdett told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking a mediator should have been brought in around day three.
"This is the thing, timing is everything – it's a fine line. First couple of days you've got to let people vent, we saw the same thing happen at Waikeria – it went on for too long, once you get past that seven-day mark you're now in trouble."
Wellington's Regional Public Health Unit yesterday said no known positive Covid-19 cases were linked to the protest.
Crooner Barry Manilow, whose dress sense was referenced in 1980s movie The Breakfast Club, earned another inglorious place in pop culture with the deployment of his music against protesters.
No arrests on Sunday
blasted out James Blunt and a scratchy, flute-infused version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On.
But Speaker Trevor Mallard's decisions to use the music and Parliament's lawn sprinklers on the soak setting on Friday were not tactics police advised or endorsed, Parnell said.
"Look, it is what it is. It happened."
No arrests were reported at the Wellington protest yesterday, when heavy rain and high winds lashed the parliamentary precinct, turning Parliament's lawn into a sodden, muddy bog.
Intelligence analyst Dr Paul Buchanan said the police response last week involved an attempt to remove troublemakers with the arrest of 120 people on Thursday.
"They're selectively going after the A-holes," Buchanan said.
But much of the strategy was what he dubbed passive defence, where violent methods of suppression were avoided and the protest was largely expected to fizz out.
Buchanan, 36th Parallel Assessments director, said some arguments had emerged between protest factions.
"One of the axioms of irregular resistance is you've got to have a unity of purpose. They're all over the place," he said of the convoy group and lawn protesters.
Parnell indicated several hundred of those gathered in the protests were committed, and unlikely to be dislodged.
"That nucleus of 300-500 people, they've sat through an extreme weather event."
But Parnell said police did not intend for the protest to last for weeks.
He added that no threats had been made which could be deemed as jeopardising national security.
The possible involvement of far-right groups was concerning, and the terror attacks of March 2019 were "front of mind".
Some of the people arrested last week and given bail had returned to the grounds, he said.
Police were working with Wellington City Council on some issues around possible bylaw breaches.
"Removing the portaloos or emptying the portaloos, we've explored that at great length."
Parnell said protest sympathisers who offered food and accommodation were supporting an unlawful occupation.
He rejected suggestions the convoy protest took police off guard.
"This is unprecedented territory in terms of an unlawful occupation and protest at Parliament."
Parnell confirmed a few people in the crowd were armed with baseball bats or similar items.
"We're aware of the presence of some weapons on site. Certainly not firearms, no evidence of that."
The overall situation was complex but police morale was high.
Indeed, some officers even remarked on quirkier aspects of the protest, Parnell said.
"They endured a heck of a night there last night, but they still remained upbeat."
Covid-19 cases skyrocket
Covid-19 case numbers nearly doubled yesterday to 810.
Te Pūnaha Matatini complex systems researcher Dion O'Neale said the rise in cases put New Zealand on track to reach 1,000 cases a day by mid-week.
Pandemic response minister Chris Hipkins last week said the anti-Covid strategy would become increasingly devolved, with businesses given more room to make decisions about staff testing and self-isolation.
Dr David Welch, a University of Auckland senior lecturer, said Sunday's case numbers indicated Omicron was spreading faster than in the first weeks of the outbreak.
"This is in line with outbreaks overseas, where case numbers have doubled approximately every three days," he said.
"The early spread here was likely limited by contact tracing efforts but with higher case numbers, contact tracing is not able to keep up."