Christmas Island protesters storm Australian Consulate in Auckland video

Protestors carrying a petition attempted to invade the Australian Embassy in Auckland's CBD.

A group of activists protesting the detainment of New Zealanders on Christmas Island have stormed the Australian Consulate in Auckland.

About 50 protesters were present at Wednesday's demonstration.

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Protesters against Australian detention of refugees at Christmas Island outside Australia's high commission in Auckland.
Chris McKeen/Fairfax NZ

Protesters against Australian detention of refugees at Christmas Island outside Australia's high commission in Auckland.

An agreement had been made that the group was allowed to protest peacefully outside the Consulate in downtown Auckland and one that person was allowed to come onto the grounds to hand over a document at the end of the demonstration.

However, a group of about 20 protesters followed that person through the open gates and entered the building.

They stood in the building's atrium yelling "shame" and "stand up and fight back when human rights are under attack".

Security were called to push the protesters back off the Consulate grounds and the doors were shut.

The protest was against the treatment of New Zealanders and refugees held on Christmas Island awaiting deportation. 

"If the government doesn't shut them (the containment camp) down, I fully support the prisoners if they want to burn them down," said one of the protesters.

One of the protesters compared what the Australian government is doing to the US use of Guantanamo Bay creating a special category of people with no human rights.

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A police spokeswoman said no arrests were made in relation to protesters entering the Consulate building without permission.

About five police officers were present at the protest between 1pm and 1.30pm on Wednesday.

The protesters that stormed the building left when they were asked by police and no force was needed to remove them, she said.

One of the protest organisers Jo Carolan said they were supporting all people in the Christmas Island detention camps - asylum seekers and New Zealanders convicted of crimes in Australia who are under threat of deportation back to New Zealand. 

"John Key pointed a finger over the opposition and went 'you guys are gutless'. Here is the situation where he should act as the prime minister and defend people's rights and he is absent from the battlefields."

A refugee inside the Christmas Island Detention Centre claimed a group of New Zealanders on so-called 501 deportation orders had beaten or terrorised refugees held there.

The Lebanese detainee said New Zealanders had beaten more than 20 people over the last month and stolen their phones and other property.

"I'm sure there's one or two bad apples and racists as we find in all society. But the story of this uprising, the story of this rebellion is unity between the Kiwis and the refugees," Carolan said.


Meanwhile, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he didn't expect Kiwis' concern over Australia's controversial repatriation policies to impact trans-Tasman travel.

The airline is likely to be responsible for flying convicted Kiwis and other New Zealanders the Australian government has deemed undesirable back to New Zealand.

He would not say whether that was an uncomfortable position for the airline, which is trying to expand its business in New Zealand.

"We have a big contract with the Australian government on travel. Whatever the policies are of your government, you live with them, and you work with them. These things are not up to the airlines."

Joyce said Australia was the biggest source of tourists for New Zealand "and the biggest tourism group into Australia is the Kiwis".

"I don't think there is any indication that is changing.

"The links between the two countries are unbelievably strong and what we are focused on is how do we improve those links and build on them," he said.

Joyce was in Wellington to announce a new service between Auckland and Los Angeles, which Qantas will launch in June in conjunction with its joint venture partner and route-operator American Airlines.


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