The country's surging Covid cases is the priority for the Government - not the actions of protesters at Parliament, the Prime Minister says.
The focus needed to be on the "growing pandemic and keeping people safe," Jacinda Ardern told reporters in Rotorua today.
"What is happening there is illegal," she said of the protesters.
It comes as top government officials met this morning to discuss the protest outside Parliament, as police say they now have 'significantly increased tow capacity".
But police are still opting to engage in discussions with protest leaders, said a spokesperson.
They warn that the clogged streets created problems last night when a female protester suffered a medical event.
"The woman was taken to hospital but once again the ambulance was unable to drive directly to her because of the protesters' vehicles blocking surrounding roads," police said.
"We continue to urge protesters to move the vehicles blocking roads as these are not only an inconvenience but also a danger in situations like this."
Police said since announcing an intention to tow vehicles from the streets surrounding the protest and appealing for further support from tow operators, they now had access to significantly increased tow capacity.
"Having observed the response from protestors and noting the ongoing dynamics of similar situations overseas, Police is continuing to exercise careful judgement about when to commence a towing phase."
They would continue to focus on engagement with protest leaders with the aim of building on the initial positive responses seen so far.
There would be a significantly increasing visibility and presence of police around the area to ensure everyone's safety, said a spokesperson.
There had been no further arrests overnight.
The protest has resulted in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet re-convening the ODESC (Officials' Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination).
It is a grouping of government department heads which usually meets during emergencies or crises to discuss the response, usually includes those from security and intelligence, Police and any other relevant departments.
Police have struggled to clear the protest, which has grown over the past nine days - and other protest camps have been set up in places including Christchurch, Dunedin, and Picton.
A spokesperson for DPMC said the grouping of chief executives were meeting to "discuss issues related to the ongoing protest."
"The Chief Executives are from a range of government agencies," they said.
"The meeting will ensure there's a shared understanding of the situation and that all risks and potential implications have been identified."
"The National Security System is coordinated by the National Security Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but Police remain the lead agency responding to the protest."
Latest locations of interest
AJ Hackett Bridge Bungy and Climb in Auckland is among the latest high-risk locations of interest added this morning.
Anyone who was there on Saturday between 1.23pm and 2.30pm is asked to self-isolate, get tested and then again on day five after potential exposure.
The same health advice is extended to diners of El Camino Cantina in Queenstown who were there on Saturday between 7pm and 11pm and on Sunday between 12pm and 8.30pm.
A crossfit event was also added to the list, anyone who attended Metcon Madness in Remuera on Saturday between 9.30am and 11.45am also need to self-isolate, get tested and then again on day five after potential exposure.
Today, the University of Otago confirmed a positive case was detected on Castle St.
The advised that anyone who attended a party on the street between 7pm on Saturday and 1am on Sunday needed to self-isolate and get tested immediately.
Furthermore, anyone who attended a party between 7pm on Monday and 12.30am on Tuesday need to self-isolate and then get a test this Saturday they said.
'River of filth' under protest
Earlier Deputy Leader of the House Michael Wood issued a warning to colleagues offering support to protesters outside Parliament, saying a "river of filth" flows beneath the party atmosphere outside.
Wood spoke in the House yesterday on day nine of the protest, a day that saw prominent opposition politicians described those occupying Parliament grounds as "good people" and calling for the Government to engage with them.
Wood's call comes as video emerges of a notorious white supremacist offering his support for the protest and the Police Association warns that the protest is a "dog's breakfast" that could drag on for months.
"The words I say now I say with some precision and I say really carefully," Wood told the House yesterday.
"Because I think we need to take great care with this. Out the front of this place, there are people who I think we all feel for.
"There are some people who are confused, there are some people who are scared, there are some people who have been manipulated by an avalanche of misinformation. There are some people who have been hurt over the past couple of years and they're lashing out.
"We feel for those people. But underneath all of that, there is a river of filth. There is a river of violence and menace. There is a river of anti-Semitism. There is a river of Islamophobia. There is a river of threats to people who work in this place and our staff. Those are things that we should not in any way be condoning.
He said there was "a river of genuine fascism in parts of the event" and urged colleagues "to not give succour and comfort to an emergent and dangerous far-right movement."
It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admonished Act Party Leader David Seymour for meeting with protest representatives yesterday.
Seymour said yesterday he had met some of the anti-mandate protesters' leadership, who were feeling like they were not being listened to.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she did not think it was responsible for Seymour to meet with protest representatives.
"I don't think it was a responsible thing to do for a party that champions law and order," she said.
Political commentator Shane te Pou told the Herald that while many of the protesters were moderates, there was a "dark, deep core" at the heart of the movement and it was responsible for driving much of the viral nature of the online messaging.
He said those groups were not interested in an outcome, but in "undermining the norms of New Zealand society".
He added that, if the mandates were removed tomorrow, many protestors would simply find another cause to platform what he said was a form of nationalism that was new to New Zealand.
He said Christopher Luxon's comments that there were "really good people" within the protest immediately brought to mind former US President Donald Trump's comments that there were "very fine people on both sides" of the notorious neo-Nazi rally in Charlotesville in 2017.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon told TVNZ's Breakfast yesterday that there are "some really good people in there, but there's a real range of people and views in there as well."
One of those ranges of views is held by notorious white supremacist Phillip Arps, who has been seen inside the Picton camp which is occupied by protesters, many of whom are unable to cross Cook Strait on a vaccine-mandatory ferry service.
Arps faces court in Christchurch after he was arrested in Picton for threatening to kill and using offensive language, reportedly saying he was off to a "public execution".
That alleged threat - and his lengthy rap sheet - didn't stop him being interviewed by the Steve Bannon-linked Counterspin media.
"I've got a trial on Friday and I got another one next but I'll be back with some thoughts. Until the Government's abolished," Arps said.
"Excellent," came the response from Counterspin. "That's the way".
More than 20 protesters gathered outside Wellington's District Court this morning, ahead of many reappearing today for their trespass charges, but many were blocked from entering the court, which enforces Covid rules on vaccination and mask-wearing.
Police Association president Chris Cahill said the protest was a "bit of a dog's breakfast" and the bad news was that he thought they would still be there in three months' time.
Cahill told Newstalk ZB the bunch of people sitting in tents on the Parliament's lawns weren't going to upset businesses and should be left there.
But he said the cars affecting businesses and other New Zealanders going about their daily lives needed to be moved.
His call comes as an estimated 450 vehicles remain on Wellington City's streets, blocking traffic and public transport.
Unofficial protest spokesman Leighton Baker earlier played down claims of threatening behaviour, telling Newstalk ZB the atmosphere was that of "a big family reunion".
Baker, who is also the former leader of the New Conservative Party, told ZB's Mike Hosking that the intent of the protest was getting New Zealand working together and said protesters wanted the Government to end all mandates, and said until this occurred, they would continue to see the protest grow.