One-hundred-and-twenty-two arrests have been made at the convoy protest on Parliament grounds today, police have confirmed.
It comes as police crackdown on anti-mandate protesters who have been camped on Parliament's lawn since Tuesday.
Just after 10.30pm, police in a statement said the number of protesters at the grounds has reduced "significantly" however, police will remain on the grounds overnight.
A police spokesperson also confirmed a total of 122 people were arrested today.
A small group of protesters were outside the Picton Police Station today, although the group dispersed earlier this evening.
Meanwhile, in Christchurch, police have arrested and charged the driver of a vehicle associated with a protest group outside the Christchurch Central Police Station.
"Staff attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver failed to pull over.
"Police stopped the vehicle a short time later, apprehended the driver and impounded the vehicle.
The 63-year-old female driver is facing multiple driving charges, relating to failing to stop for Police, dangerous driving, resisting arrest, and refusing a blood sample
About 4.30pm today, the crowd cheered loudly as police moved back from the line they had held for several hours, allowing the protesters to swell forward.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" protesters cheered, signalling a peaceful contrast to confrontations earlier today.
Parliament grounds were officially closed this morning but hundreds of protesters have stayed on site.
A heavy line of police has been gradually moving into the crowd in a series of scuffles, with protesters taken away in handcuffs throughout the day.
"In terms of the 120 arrested today the charges are trespass or obstruction," Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell told media this afternoon. No one has been charged with assault at this stage.
Parnell said protesters were bailed to later appear in court and were given a trespass notice, which meant they could not return to Parliament grounds. CCTV and drones are being used to monitor and identify protesters who may return after being arrested and trespassed.
Parnell said officers would stay at Parliament overnight and continue to monitor the protesters. Additional officers would be coming from all over the country in the next few days.
In terms of how long it may take for the protest to wrap up, Parnell said it could go into the "coming days".
So far, 150 officers have been sent to add to the 900 local staff on the ground and Parnell said he will continue to add to that number.
"This was never going to be a short task in front of us," he said.
"This is a national operation from a policing perspective and I will draw on those resources."
He also confirmed two officers have been assaulted and are recovering.
He clarified one officer was injured after the use of pepper spray on crowds while another suffered a few minor scratches. He said pepper spray is only used if officers are pulled into the crowd and it was used twice today.
While officers initially had communication with key organisers, Parnell said that was no longer the case, citing the multiple groups protesting and a lack of leadership.
However, he said police were well aware of the plans and tactics of the protesters.
Parnell said he was continuously monitoring how police were interacting with protesters and police had moved into an "enforcement phase".
"What's transitioned today, you will have seen, is a number of arrests; we have moved now to a state of enforcement action.
"This is unprecedented for New Zealand, we haven't had an occupation of this scale."
Parnell said the health and safety of staff and the public was "paramount" given the nature of the protest.
Parnell acknowledged the right to protest but said they had seen activity from protesters that had affected people and businesses surrounding the event.
"Our role will remain law and order and fundamentally [to] restore the peace which we will stay focused on," he said.
Parnell confirmed there were 70 tents pitched overnight, however a few were lost due to weather.
Police are also beginning to remove tents erected by protesters and earlier today moved into the crowd from both sides of Parliament's lawn.
A police officer was escorted inside Parliament in a distressed state this afternoon after being sprayed in the face with an unknown substance.
Newstalk ZB's political editor Barry Soper confirmed he saw the officer being taken into the building by colleagues and that he "didn't look too well".
Protesters threw water at police who were moving through the crowd and picking people out one-by-one.
Officers attempted to take down one of the group's marquees but were thwarted, to cheers from the protesters.
However, in another section of the front line, several more people were arrested and taken away in handcuffs.
Earlier today, protesters could be heard screaming at the police, telling them "the world is watching" and that they are "a disgrace to the badge".
Some described the police response as akin to using "a nuclear bomb for a flea".
Multiple protesters were claiming to have been pepper-sprayed.
Others sang songs including Te Aroha and the national anthem God Defend New Zealand amid calls for "love and unity".
One protester gave others advice on what to do if they are arrested, and that was followed by We Are The World being played over loudspeakers.
Those protesting outside Parliament have called this their "Canada moment".
The comment, made on the protesters' own live feed of the demonstration, was made in reference to what's happening in Ottawa.
Truckers and their supporters have been protesting for nearly two weeks in Canada's capital, blocking roads and a major border crossing.
Two large police vans have been parked outside Parliament, and police were processing the people they had arrested against a concrete wall, not far from the crowd which remained on the lawn.
Superintendent Corrie Parnell said police continued to urge protesters to leave the Parliament grounds peacefully.
"It is disappointing that despite the grounds being officially closed to the public earlier today, a number of protesters are refusing repeated requests to leave the precinct," he said.
"Police continue to take a measured approach, exercising their powers fairly and proportionately.
"We continue to acknowledge people's right to protest, however those who behave unlawfully will face arrest."
Parnell also appealed to protesters to immediately remove their illegally parked vehicles, or face enforcement action.
"Wellingtonians have the right to conduct their lives and go about their business without the interference of ongoing unlawful activity.
"Additional resources will be deployed from around the country as long as is necessary to ensure public safety."
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster confirmed the council would begin ticketing illegally parked vehicles.
A Wellington City Council parking warden could be seen issuing tickets to vehicles parked illegally outside Parliament.
They were accompanied by five or six police officers.
Two tickets that had been issued were visible in a livestream of the protest, one for $40 for parking on a footpath, the other for $60 for parking in an area with broken yellow lines.
Protesters running the livestream said they wouldn't be paying the fines, and if their vehicles ended up being towed, the Wellington City Council will be "next".
"If we get moved out of here, where do you think we'll be going next. Looking at you Wellington City Council."
The council's chief customer and community officer, Kym Fell, said Parking Services managers will be ticketing the large number of vehicles parked illegally on streets and footpaths in the vicinity of Parliament.
'A lot of emotion'
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this morning while there is certainly "a lot of emotion" at the protest, the views held by protesters are not reflective of most people.
She added it was time the protesters moved on.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson thanked the police for their hard work, saying the job was "a very difficult" one.
He added while New Zealanders respect peaceful protest, this was not one.
"When protesters go beyond that to intimidating, threatening, disrupting a city in this way, I'm sure those protesters will know the consequences of that."
'I support the right to protest'
Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins says he had been arrested himself while protesting at Parliament about student fees in 1997, and had gone through the courts to uphold that right to protest.
His objection to this week's protests was about the protesters' behaviour.
"The right to protest at Parliament is one I passionately believe in and that includes the right to express views that others would strongly disagree with.
"I absolutely support the right of people to protest peacefully at Parliament. And if that is what those protesters are doing, and have committed to doing, then yes, of course, I support their right. But that is not what they are doing.
"They are basically treating it as a campsite, there is a lot of unacceptable behaviour going on out there, including the fact they are intimidating school children travelling to and from school because they happen to be wearing masks. That's not okay."
Day 3 of Convoy 2022 protest
It is day three of the protest, which saw the group – dubbed Convoy 2022 – travel from all over the country and arrive to Parliament on Tuesday, where they gridlocked some of the capital city's streets.
They are broadly protesting the Government's ongoing Covid restrictions, in particular the vaccine mandate.
The protesters pitched tents on Tuesday, the protest's first day, in breach of the rules for protest which prohibit putting up any structures on Parliament's ground and making threats to the public.
A trespass notice was also issued on Tuesday.
Speaker Trevor Mallard, who has jurisdiction over the grounds, asked police to assist Parliamentary security in enforcing the rules, including giving permission to police to temporarily close the grounds to the public.
Earlier a protester said they came in peace and love, and did not see police as the enemy.
"We are not here to fight anyone, we are here to unite the people for freedom of choice.
"We don't need fighting, we don't need division. We need one another," she said.
While defiant, protest numbers are visibly smaller than the previous two days, although dozens of tents remain erected on Parliament's lawn.
A woman spoke over a megaphone to police directly, saying she knows they are against police mandates and they should not be holding the line against their own citizens.