Thousands protest COVID-19 rules in New Zealand

New Zealand's tough lockdown and vaccination drives have helped keep coronavirus infections and related deaths low, but it has also drawn criticism from some calling for more freedoms and an end to mandatory vaccine requirements.

The government has mandated vaccinations for teachers, workers in the health and disability sectors, police and other public service sectors.

Protesters, mostly unmasked, marched through the central business district of Wellington and gathered in front of the parliament building, know as the Beehive.

Security was beefed up at the Beehive with entrances closed off and dozens of police deployed.

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