After weeks of illegal occupation that ended in riots, the New Zealand Parliament has a new unwanted guest: cannabis seedlings appear among its rose gardens.
The Eagles Wellington this week spotted tiny green leaves emerging from the soil and posted his find on social media. The man wished to remain anonymous but is a parliamentary overseer confirmed by the national RNZ broadcastthat the plants were indeed “several cannabis seedlings” that are believed to have been left by the protesters.
“A lot of seeds were scattered around, including what was left of the protesters,” the guard said.
The guard added that this was “probably the first cannabis ever planted in parliament.”
The protester, who returned to the scene, told RNZ that the protesters were responsible for spreading the seeds and “many others are likely to germinate over the years.”
The plants, which are illegal in New Zealand, have since been pulled out and destroyed after House Speaker Trevor Mallard asked to “weed out the weeds”.
The 23-day protest in Wellington Parliament was nominally about opposition to vaccine mandates, but was marred by conspiracy theories, death threats, abuse and a riot that ended in violence and fires. The area was left with mud and scorching from the campers, who also tore down parts of the established gardens to plant herbs, vegetables and, it turns out, hemp.
After weeks of peace around the area, high fences were erected, and on Friday morning the police presence intensified again after the new group said it would take another 14 days of action to demand an end to all Covid-19 restrictions.
Two weeks ago the government announced this complete some mandates for vaccines and the vaccine requirement disappears from April 4th. However, one of the protesters, Tessa Jeffries, told RNZ: “Protests will continue until we first receive confirmation. Second, we receive an apology. Third, we will get justice. And fourth … personally, I will not stop until the Covid-19 Health Response Act is repealed. “