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Final Occupy camp cleared

Published: 7:37PM Thursday March 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

New Zealand's final "Occupy" protest campsite is being cleared, with the Christchurch City Council evicting occupiers from the Hagley Park site.

The decision comes as complaints about their behaviour continue to rise.

The council voted to evict the Occupy protesters this morning, with Mayor Bob Parker describing it as an "illegal occupation".

The protesters made a last ditch effort to try to sway the decision and defended reports of bad behaviour.

"The occupiers have brought the misbehaviour under control themselves weeks ago," the group's spokesman, former Environment Canterbury councillor Rik Tindall, said.

The decision was welcomed at Christchurch Hospital, where bathroom facilities were regularly used by the protesters.

"We've had a range of incidents with visitors from the tent site coming and being disruptive, abusive and even assaulting security," said Murray Dickson from the Canterbury District Health Board.

The DHB is spending $12,000 a week on extra security to escort staff and patients to their cars at night

Police say they have attended more than 150 incidents within 200 metres of the tent site and that crime in the area has also increased.

But unlike their North Island counterparts, Occupy Christchurch said they would go without a fuss.

"You won't see any drama," said Tindall.

The council has agreed to try to find alternative accommodation for the 16 people, some of whom are homeless.