Retailer: anti-mandate protesters ruined busy day

The Freedoms and Rights coalition protest march in Newmarket. Photo: Michael Craig/The New...
The Freedoms and Rights coalition protest march in Newmarket. Photo: Michael Craig/The New Zealand Herald
Newmarket's retail boss Mark Knoff-Thomas has called the group of 1000 anti-mandate protesters who today marched down Broadway "dickheads" for ruining one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

On the first Saturday of the new traffic light system with all the shops, bars, restaurants and gyms up and running for the first time since August, Knoff-Thomas said it was meant to be "one of those golden days" in the run-up to Christmas.

"To all of those mindless New Zealanders demanding 'freedom' and protesting through the streets of Newmarket right now - causing shops to shut their doors, on what should be our busiest Saturday for months - all you have done is hurt small business owners with your deluded protest. Shameful. You utter dickheads," he posted on social media.

Mr Knoff-Thomas told The New Zealand Herald there were a lot of upset retailers in Newmarket today, saying the area was pumping before the protest passed through.

"They have ruined a day that could have been a superb day for us and a much-needed day to get money back into people's tills," he said.

The Newmarket Business Association chief executive said everyone has the right to protest, but it should not be brought into a town centre and cause havoc, slow traffic and disrupt trade.

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