Kiwi sailing icon Sir Russell Coutts has revealed he plans to travel to Wellington to join those protesting against the Government's pandemic measures, calling the country's current rules "irrational".
Hundreds of people have been camped out on Parliament grounds for the past 10 days, protesting against the country's Covid-19 vaccination mandate - choking the streets around the Beehive with illegally parked vehicles and reportedly intimidating Wellingtonians.
The standoff shows no signs of being resolved soon, with more protestors arriving on a daily basis.
In a post made on Facebook, Coutts confirmed his plans to join the occupiers, noting he was not against vaccination – being vaccinated himself - but he was against forcing people to get them.
"I'm heading to Wellington next week to join the protest. It's the first time I've ever felt compelled to join a protest," Coutts wrote.
"I'm not anti-vaccine (I'm vaccinated) but I'm definitely against forced vaccinations.
"I'm also strongly opposed to the ever-increasing erosion of our human rights and the growing limitations on our freedom of choice. I believe in having the freedom to be able to question so-called "expert" opinion.
"I'm against discrimination and the 'them and us' society that is being promoted by our current political leaders. I'm against creating different rights, laws and privileges based on race."
The America's Cup veteran also highlighted several of the current regulations mandated by the government when it came to their Covid-19 response he viewed as "absurd".
Included in the examples were the 10-day quarantine still in place for international travelers, regulations around children playing sports despite being allowed to go to school, mask usage in restaurants and "contradictory rules that allow unvaccinated people to take a domestic flight (with a negative Covid test) but prohibit a young unvaccinated kid from competing in their sport (outside school)".
However, managed isolation periods for international arrivals into New Zealand is seven days and regulations around children's sports are not set by the government.
It's not the first time Coutts – the chief executive of SailGP - has spoken out about the government's measures when it comes to the pandemic. In October last year, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist accused the Government of using the Covid-19 pandemic to erode New Zealand's freedom of choice, claiming it has turned into a "dictatorship".
Last year, SailGP was forced to cancel its planned stop in New Zealand after the government refused its application for contestants to access MIQ facilities.
"Finally, and perhaps most important, I'm against the fact that some of our mainstream media have received payment from the New Zealand government conditional on them promoting government policy, propaganda and spin.
"So yes, I'll be joining the protest in Wellington."
NZ Herald editor Murray Kirkness said Coutts' claims that the NZ on Air public interest journalism fund could somehow influence how the media covered the Government was false. "We are proudly and fiercely independent - our journalists operate without fear or favour."
He isn't the first high-profile New Zealander to come out in support of the protest.
Former Real Housewives of Auckland star Gilda Kirkpatrick is currently at the protest, often videoing the action and sharing it on social media.
Earlier this week, former National Party MP Matt King travelled to Wellington because he said he strongly opposed the vaccine mandates.
King resigned his membership of the National Party last week, just before travelling to Wellington to take part in the Convoy protest. He is a spokesman for those in the military and police who have lost their jobs because of vaccine mandates.