Demonstrations in the capital, Wellington, and in about a dozen other New Zealand cities and towns were organized by the minor Maori Party, which advocates for the rights of Indigenous New Zealanders who are known as Maori.
Protesters demonstrated peacefully outside Parliament against what they described as the “anti-Maori” policies of the newly elected conservative-led coalition government.
Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi said the new policies of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s administration would take New Zealand “back to the 1800s.”
“Our protest this morning was an activation of our people,” Waititi said.
Lawmakers were sworn in on Tuesday after elections on Oct. 14 ousted the center-left Labour Party government that had ruled since 2017.
The Maori Party won six of the 123 seats in the 54th Parliament.