Police Minister Liza Harvey said the laws were specifically aimed at protesters who used devices such as thumb and arm locks, which require a skilled technician to remove.
“It’s a very expensive activity, it causes maximum disruption and we think it’s gone too far,” she said.
“Some of these protesters have actually locked themselves in 40 gallon drums full of concrete and chains, so police have to find a way to grind through those devices.”
Meanwhile, a protester has locked herself to a “car dragon” in the middle of the main access road into Helms Forest near Nannup in the South West. A car dragon is a disused car that has had its wheels taken off and been cemented to the ground by protesters in a bid to block access to a place. Des Patterson is protesting against the logging of the forest, in which she releases rehabilitated black cockatoos. Ms Patterson has chained herself to a metal cylinder that runs through the car and has been cemented into the road.
Under the proposed legislation, if a protester intentionally or physically prevents a lawful activity, they can be imprisoned for up to a year, or face a $12,000 fine. In circumstances of aggravation, offences will be punishable by up to two years in jail or a fine of $24,000.
The NZ govt should look at similar legislation, especially in view of what has happened in Auckland recently relating to the removal of trees from privately owned land.