Campsites have appeared all over the country since the Occupy movement began in October.
The protesters say they are highlighting the world’s global greed, emanating from the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States.
Police have not taken action against the New Zealand protesters and campsites, despite pressure from local authorities to remove or shift the protesters.
‘We want our square back and that’s what we’re working towards with our Occupy Auckland campers,’ said Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.
‘We share some of their concerns on climate change, child poverty and youth unemployment but we can’t solve them overnight.
‘We’re saying “let us pick up some of your issues as a council” as we negotiate a dignified return to our square.’
Protesters have been camping in Auckland’s Aotea Square since October 15.
Hulse did admit the campers have exemplary behavior and do not incite violent confrontations.
In other parts of the country, confusion and diverging demands are leading to disorganised messages.
In Invercargill, Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the issue of removing the protesters is getting more complicated as messages become confused.
“Smith City have decided to start a huge tent exhibition right around our six protesters and now another lady who wants to protest against frilly underwear at Coco’s or something has decided to pitch her tent!”
Shadbolt, with a history of protesting himself, said he respects the right to protest in New Zealand and said it sets the country apart from stricter regimes around the world.
The Invercargill City Council, nonetheless, has given the Occupy Invercargill protesters a $345 fine for camping in the Gala St reserve.
The six protesters are refusing to pay.
‘We have our right to protest and making us pay, that would abuse that right…We’re definitely not going to pay it… Where has freedom of speech gone if that’s the case?’ said Occupy Invercargill member Andrew Stevens.