Extra police were called to help security as protestors tried to move up the steps of Parliament on the same day thousands of people turned up to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

Wellington Police area commander Inspector Chris Bensemann said protestors pushed through barriers at the front of parliament in an attempt to move up onto the steps.

Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

"These protests have been mainly peaceful in the past but on this occasion a small group tried to move up the steps of Parliament before being stopped by police and security," he said.

"Police were called to help security staff and were able to contain a small determined group of protestors to the bottom of the steps."


He said protestors eventually moved on and no arrests were made.

Meanwhile, an estimated 5000 people joined the rally at Aotea Square at 1pm, to then march on the US Consulate building.

Armed with banners and signs, they called on the Government to "walk away" from the TPP agreement.

Placards read, 'don't trade our needs for corporate greed'; 'enough is enough'; 'TPPA locks in climate change'; and 'Aotearoa is not for sale".

Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

Protesters heard speeches, and songs from singers Tiki Taane and Moana Maniapoto, at Aotea Square before starting the march down Queen St.

Despite the frequent heavy showers protesters of all ages joined the noisy crowd as it marched through central Auckland, causing people to stop and look, while workers stood at windows and watched them walk by.

Huia Minogue, who was at the rally with her brother and his wife, and their children - who were dressed as kiwis, holding signs that read, 'little kiwis say no to TPPA' - said they joined the protest because "the TPPA is a huge over-riding agreement which is going to take so much of our rights away".

Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

She cited concerns about "blocks and waivers' preventing future New Zealand government's from making its own laws, corporations being able to sue the Government, the increased costs of medicines, and the inability to block foreign ownership as reasons why she was opposed to the deal.


"It's putting us at the mercy of this global market," she said.

"And all of this for possibly 0.01 per cent of GDP, which is just ridiculous."

She was "really happy" with the large turn out, she said.

"It's a horrible day, you always get much more people on a sunny day, to see a crowd like this.

"The thing about this crowd is there's children, there's babies, there's Maori there's people from India, there's trade unionists, there's health professional, politicians, there's professors, singers. It's amazing. All of New Zealand is represented here. There's no group you could say didn't turn up today."

Before the protest All Black Piri Weepu tweeted that he was "gutted" he couldn't join the rallies which were taking place in 20 cities across New Zealand today.


A man who gave his name as Robert was with his two young children who were carrying anti-TPPA signs.

"I don't agree with the secrecy and what the agreement stands for in the first place," he said.

It was important for his children "to see people standing up for what they believe in".

Protester Juanita de Fenna said: "For me it's about New Zealanders continuing to have access to the health, the education, and housing.

Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

"We still have many people going without and under this treaty we're going to see bigger communities not being able to get on the ladder of health and wellbeing, and prosperity and happiness. So I'm against the TPPA for that reason."

The large crowd was "awesome", she said.


"I ran into a few Americans today and they're really supportive. The kind of propaganda that's been out there about people staying away I think has kind of worked in our favour really."

Her comments referred to a warning by the US Consulate to its citizens living in New Zealand to avoid the area where the protest and rally was taking place today, saying even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational.

At the rally in Aotea Square before the protesters began their march on the consulate, anti-TPP group Show Us Ya Text gave the Government an ultimatum to publicly release the documents outlining the conditions of the trade deal.

"We're a group of people who believe in democracy, and we believe that people can change the world. But we know that democracy does not happen behind closed doors.

That is why we're demanding the full release of the TPPA and supporting documents by August 31 at high noon," said the group's Lizzie Sullivan.

Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

If the demand was not met, she said, the group would march on the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington on September 15 to carry out "a non-violent citizen's search and seizure".


Her words were met by cheers and applause from the crowd packed into Aotea Square and braving the rain.

"Right now the very core of our democracy is under threat. Both the TPPA and the way it is being negotiated behind closed doors and in secrecy is incompatible with an open and transparent society," she said.

"If we have nothing to fear, then they [the Governments negotiating the TPPA] have nothing to hide."

Barry Coates, who was acting as MC at the rally, said people of all ages and ethnicities had come together for the protest.

"We are united to protect New Zealand's future," he told the crowd.

And he slammed Trade Minister Tim Groser for "selling the futures of New Zealand's people".


"It's treason," Mr Coates said.

"And we're here to send a message today - 'TPPA, walk away'."

Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Anti-TPPA protestors in Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

The crowd joined in the chant, which was used alongside 'TPPA, no way', as the main protest chant throughout the vocal protest.

Another speaker, Ben Barton, said the rallies around the country would "send a clear and resounding message" to the Government that New Zealanders did not want to sign up to the controversial trade deal.

Dr Josh Freeman railed at not just the secrecy of the deal, and its likely impact on the cost of medicine in New Zealand, but its impact on climate change.

Tackling climate change was the biggest challenge facing the world in the 21st century, he said, but the TPPA would set progress on the issue back.


"We must urgently transition to a low carbon economy. Business as usual is no longer an option. But business as usual is exactly what the TPP is trying to lock in place, because transitioning to a low carbon economy is impossible without threatening the clear interests of the fossil fuel industry. And the TPP will do nothing but empower that industry," he told the crowd.

"And make no mistakes, when its clear commercial interests are threatened the industry will behave predictably."

The agreement was being "sold to us as an agreement for the 21st century, but how can it be when it is so out of touch with 21st century realities?", he said.

"This is not a 21st century agreement, it's an agreement that aims to advance and lock in the worst aspects of a failed 20th century model.

"It is an agreement premised on the myth that what is good for big corporations is good for society.

"It is an agreement that prioritises the role of a tiny fraction of the population over the basic needs of hundreds of millions.


"It is an agreement that prioritises short term profits over securing the decent survival of future generations."

Tiki Taane performed at the protest. Photo / Doug Sherring
Tiki Taane performed at the protest. Photo / Doug Sherring

During the rally at Aotea Sq, a street art performance was acted out for the crowd, in which 'Sleepy Kiwi' was chased by 'Uncle Sam'.

The pantomime-like performance saw the Sleepy Kiwi getting lured into a cage by Uncle Sam, to boos and hisses from the crowd.

But at the end, the Sleepy Kiwi woke up, and fought back against Uncle Sam, locking him in the cage instead.

Singers Tiki Taane and Moana Maniapoto both performed for the crowd, Taane choosing to cover Bob Marley's Get Up, Stand Up.

Maniapoto also addressed the protesters, saying New Zealand "will not stand for" the TPPA.


She hit out at Mr Groser's "audacity" to "suggest we are a bunch of loop-de-loops".

"We're are academics, jurists, lawyers, politicians, opposition parties, environmentalists, Maori leaders, ordinary people, parents, across the board who're saying we're going to stand for something."

She told the crowd, donned in raincoats, ponchos and holding umbrellas against the rain: "Don't worry about getting wet people, worry about getting angry."

Urging people to get involved, she said: "We get off Facebook, we get off Twitter and we march."

She added: "This is one fight we're all in, Maori and Pakeha.

"We stand together in this kaupapa. Do not get swept away by the misinformation. We're not anti-trade, we're not anti-farmer, we're not even anti-American.


"We're against multi-corporation domination of the world. That's what we're against."