The freedom convoy in Canada started an international movement and spawned a similar protest in New Zealand.
A freedom convoy has occupied the parliament grounds in Wellington and tow truck companies are refusing to aid authorities in removing the trucks.
“It is a major operation for us to remove the large number of vehicles around those streets and we have from the outset of this had very great reluctance from tow operators to support us in clearing this situation,” said Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.
“So part of what we would like to do today is to appeal to those who are tow operators to come forward and help us sort this out.”
Greg Cox, who owns Wellington’s Cox Heavy Salvage, said safety concerns are not what’s stopping tow companies getting involved.
“There’s all different reasons being put forward, but the reason that the majority of my colleagues don’t want to put their tow trucks out there is because they are sympathetic to what’s going on in Parliament,” he said.
Not wanting to sour their relationship with police, Cox said some operators had made up excuses for not lending a hand in the towing operation.
“One of the Wellington operators said how he can’t do it now – ‘We have to isolate’.”
He said police had not been misleading in their public statements about “safety concerns” – that was just what the towies had been telling them.
“They’re saying what they’re hearing,” he said.
Cox had been said he’s been contacted twice by police asking for help with the towing operation.
He had been in touch with 10 or so other operators, and believed the majority of the industry had similar views.
“From the people who’ve rung me, text me, the feeling’s pretty much mutual right through the country. There’s not a business that hasn’t been impacted by mandate, and everybody understands that.”
Also, if he turned up at Parliament with a fleet of tow trucks it would be a very bad look for his business: “That’d be the worst advertising I’d get,” he said.
Authorities also requested that the military come in and help however they are staying out of this mess. They saw what happened in Canada and want nothing to do with removing protestors.
NEW ZEALAND: The police commissioner made a plea for tow truck companies to move the convoy for freedom vehicles the tow companies did not respond to the plea nor did the military when asked. pic.twitter.com/f7Npz7HsK3