A police officer was bitten this morning by a protester at the northern Auckland border.
Traffic was blocked in both directions for more than an hour by the protesters and some vehicles, police said.
Anti-lockdown protesters blocked State Highway 1 at Auckland's northern border at Te Hana, causing delays for motorists.
Vehicles were towed as the disruption caused traffic to back up for about three hours, Waitematā district commander Superintendent Naila Hassan said.
"The actions of protesters required our staff to physically intervene to move them off the road.
"In the process one of our offices has been bitten by an as yet unidentified protester."
"Actions like this are totally avoidable and pose unnecessary risk to our staff who are simply trying do their part in preventing the spread of Covid-19."
Fortunately, a police spokesperson told the Herald, the officer did not require urgent medical treatment.
Traffic is now flowing at Auckland's northern border after about 40 protesters blocked the highway.
Long queues of around 50 vehicles were queued at the checkpoint while police managed protesters.
By 8am only 15 protesters were left standing at the border, and dispersed soon after.
Police thanked people impacted by the protest for their patience and understanding.
"Our priority today was to ensure this vital border checkpoint could continue to operate so that members of the public with border exemptions could go about their lawful business," Hassan said.
The latest border protest comes as anti-lockdown protesters connected to the Freedoms and Rights Coalition are expected to descend on Wellington this morning.
Thousands of protesters are gathering at Civic Square and will then head to Parliament - where Speaker Trevor Mallard says security had never been as tight as it is today.
Parliament's main entrances are all locked down and some protesters have set up ahead of the main march arriving.
Police yesterday warned anyone planning to join the protests that they must stick to the law or face prosecution.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua has condemned today's Te Hana border protest, saying it threatens to disrupt vital medical and food supplies for the north.
"Whilst these individuals are using this as an opportunity to grandstand their issue, Te Tai Tokerau lost over an hour and 15 minutes of thoroughfare which may prove disastrous for our region," chief operating officer Antony Thompson said.
Vehicles had since been towed and traffic was moving again but significant delays were still expected, he said.
Minister and broadcaster Reverend Frank Ritchie has also spoken out against the protests - offering a counter-voice to fellow religious leader Brian Tamaki, who helped found protest group The Freedom and Rights Coalition.
"People of faith - stay away from today's protests," Ritchie implored on Twitter.
"There has been chatter about violence, storming Parliament, arresting the Prime Minister and worse. This is not something we should be associated with or enable by bolstering their numbers.
"This is not who we are."
Protesters plan to march to Parliament
The Freedoms and Rights Coalition is organising a march through Wellington to Parliament today to present a range of demands to lift lockdown restrictions.
Police were preparing for blockades at Auckland's borders and say there will be a "heightened presence" at other Auckland locations such as Government House and MPs' electorate offices.
An opinion piece by the Freedoms & Rights Coalition posted today praised Destiny Church leader and protest group co-founder Brian Tamaki and described the mood in Auckland as "like a volcano just waiting to erupt".
"It is clear, our Freedoms & Rights will no longer be reclaimed in New Zealand through the judicial system, or through writing submissions, petitions, emails and letters," the post claimed.
"The voice of outrage from the people is growing decidedly louder day by day, tensions are rising, and people are reaching breaking point or boiling point. The number of protesters are gaining in force wherever the Prime Minister goes. The tide has turned …the public mood has changed.
"We the people, know it's time to take matters into our own hands, as this government no longer serves us.
Protesters are now travelling from across the North Island to the capital city.
Teu Miriama Uiese Lavoa claimed to be on one of three loaded buses leaving from Whanganui.
"We're going to stand for us all and our freedom," Lavoa wrote on Facebook, next to a photo of a crowded bus in which few if any people were wearing masks.
Wellington City Council said traffic was expected to be disrupted in the city centre today and people should expect delays after 10.30am.
Meanwhile, footage has emerged of protesters trying to push through Auckland's northern border at Te Hana as a row of police officers form a human barrier blocking them.
The incident has caused traffic delays for motorists in the area.
"A large group of protesters have gathered around the northern side of the border. As a result, the main northern border checkpoint located on State Highway 1 was blocked for a considerable period of time this morning," a statement said.
"Police are working to respond to this incident and to ensure lanes are open at the checkpoint so that members of the public undertaking lawful travel across the boundary can do so safely."
There are reports of motorcades and protesters planning to block off various main roads and motorways around the country - including in parts of Auckland today.
A witness at the Te Hana border said protesters arrived around 6am and were met with officers standing guard at the border.
In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Freedoms and Rights Coalition said the group will present its "realistic demands" on the steps of Parliament.
The group is calling for an end to lockdowns and public health measures, saying it's "time to learn to live with Covid-19", "shut down testing stations", and treat the deadly virus like "the flu".
"This government will have until this Friday 12th November 2021 at 2pm to take affirmative steps. If 'No-One' from within our House of Representatives is prepared to make moves for us, it will be time for 'we the people' to take matters into our hands as we undertake THE GREAT GRIDLOCK across many parts of this nation, unlike anything ever seen before," the group said.
Two weeks ago a group of up to 100 protesters gathered at the southern border near Mercer after an attempt to cross it to attend an anti-lockdown event in Northland failed.
The group gathered in the area for more than two days and was verbally trespassed by police after occupying land owned by Waka Kotahi.
Police labelled their actions very disappointing and said they were putting their staff and the wider community at risk.
Additional police resourcing was deployed to control the group and manage the traffic chaos in the area.