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We Came Here for Freedom has been made free to view so that all New Zealanders can view the film. However, unlike most films made in New Zealand, in the age of censorship this film does not enjoy the benefit of government funding, nor even the ability to showcase it on popular platforms such as YouTube or Facebook. If you would like to help support the filmmakers, please consider a donation to help pay for the production of the film and finding new ways of bringing it to audiences.

A story about a nation relearning the meaning of Freedom of Speech and Democracy.

In 2020-22, the New Zealand government enacted emergency laws, mandates and a medical passport system that caused thousands of New Zealanders to lose jobs, businesses, homes and health. Furthermore, those people were locked out of New Zealand society, unable to go to funerals or weddings, participate in sport, visit loved ones in rest homes or even to visit cafes and hairdressers. 

But when New Zealanders who had suffered under the measures stood up to exercise their democratic rights of protest and freedom of expression, instead of trying to calm the tensions, the government ignored and demonised those who protested as a “river of filth”. And the media censored them and labelled them as white-supremacists and far-right extremists. 

In the end, the divide became so large that the biggest protest movement in New Zealand’s history became inevitable, leading to the Freedom Convoy and Freedom Village occupation on the lawns and streets around parliament in February 2022. And as it happened, award-winning documentary filmmaker, Alistair Harding followed along, living amongst the protesters, filming the events and recording the stories of the people who participated.

The result is We Came Here for Freedom – a documentary film in two parts giving voice to the thousands of New Zealanders who were ignored and mis-represented by their own government and media.  

It all started with a convoy.

The people’s story

On February 6, 2022, an unprecedented event began taking place in New Zealand. Inspired by the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy, New Zealanders from all walks of life began an historic convoy of their own. Starting from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island, and from Bluff at the bottom of the South Island, the convoy headed to Wellington, gathering along the way tens of thousands of New Zealanders across the length of the country. 

It was the biggest outpouring of spontaneous community spirit ever seen in New Zealand’s history, as suddenly the great myth that those who questioned the government’s actions during the covid era were a “fringe minority”. Instead, thousands of cars formed a line of flashing hazard lights that literally went the length of the country past tens of thousands of cheering New Zealanders. 

It was a spectacular display of people power.

The effect was undeniable. The people had spoken, and by the time the Freedom Convoy reached Wellington, the response from all 120 members of parliament – including the opposition members – was to quickly band together and agree that they would not speak to any of the protesters who gathered on the parliament lawns. The very people they represented.


And so the impasse began.

A village formed. And as the government and its opposition parties refused to talk to the people, the people refused to move.

And suddenly, the question began to be asked: “If the members of parliament don’t want to speak with the people they represent – who DO they represent?”


Ignored and hurt

At the core of the issues that caused the Freedom Convoy and the Freedom Village, were the people hurt by the government policies surrounding medical mandates and restrictions on freedom. Among the people who gathered on the lawns and streets surrounding parliament were people who had lost jobs, businesses, livelihoods, and health. 

Yet despite all that hurt, the government and media refused to acknowledge them, and instead began a campaign of vilification.


Chiefly among those was MP Michael Woods’ parliamentary speech, in which he referred to the protestors – the very people who he represented – as “a river of filth”. As a sign of how far democracy in New Zealand has fallen, it was a claim that was not protested by any of the MPs in parliament, including the opposition members.

Then, as if emboldened by such rhetoric, the media joined in, openly attacking and vilifying the protestors who had already lost so much.

We Came Here For Freedom is the story of the Wellington occupation from within. It is a story that most New Zealanders have simply not heard because both the New Zealand government and media refuse to acknowledge the stories of their own citizens.

We do not expect every New Zealander to agree with this film, but we do expect that every New Zealander should be given a voice, by right.

This is the story that the government and the media of New Zealand has fought to suppress.

It is the story that tells of the protestors at parliament in February 2022, not as “filth”, but as New Zealanders worthy of a voice.

Film stills

Watch the film.


Documentary Film | 50 mins

The story of the 2022 New Zealand Freedom Convoy, the tens of thousands who lined the streets and bridges to cheer it on, and the beginnings of a village on Parliament grounds that would change a nation.


Documentary Film | 72 mins

After the heights of the convoy and the early days of the occupation, thousands of New Zealanders descend on parliament grounds and dig in for freedom of choice and freedom of speech. This is the second and final part of the story of the Freedom Village – a story you’ve never heard from the mainstream media of the New Zeland government. Take a look from within the occupation at the true story of what really happened in Wellington in February and March 2022.

LEARN MORE | Voices, Memories, Music and Art inspired by the protests.

Kiwi talent in abundance.

One of the most incredible things about the Wellington protest was the experience of walking around the Freedom Village, hearing all the different musicians that made the parliament lawns their home for those three weeks in February 2022.

The amount of talent on show was astounding. One of those musicians was Coral – who performs her song “Freedom” in Part 2 of We Came Here for Freedom. Another of her songs that has become synonymous with the Freedom movement, was “Thank you”, which we feature here.

Coral’s ancient voice delivers messages of freedom, hope, gratitude, and love channelled through her songs. After many years of performing around the country Coral has found her true calling of raining down light code and uniting the people with the healing power of music. “Our evolution is the revolution.” 


Our family day at the Wellington protest.

By Scott

Having been affected by the authoritarian and patently unjust vaccnation mandates, my family and I were excited to hear about the convoy heading to Wellington and walked up to our local motorway overbridge to cheer them on as they went past on Sunday 6th February. We stood with other Kiwis waving our national flag and holding up a sign that said “No Mandates”. We figured that over a quarter of the cars driving under us tooted and waved in support of our message. What we didn’t realise initially was this was not even the convoy. When the convoy arrived we really knew about it. Vehicles decorated in flags and banners cruised through in one almost continuous stream for over half an hour. We could not believe the numbers.

… Read more


From the top, to the bottom

By Jessica


The Road Less Travelled

By Pauline


Lone range Forecast

By Lani


One Source of Truth

By Shaun


Parliament lawns

By Kate

Were you inspired by the Freedom Convoy or the parliament protests of February and created art from it? Or written your memories of it? We would love to feature your work here. Contact us today with the email link at the bottom of this page.

Opponents of Truth

By Brody

Opponents of Truth was made to inspire people to take a stand against the corruption happening to us for our beliefs, and bring all of New Zealand together in a time when it’s incredibly important to support each other. After watching the live streams of the protest in Wellington I was so proud of everyone who stood their ground while they were under so much pressure from the police, government, and slanderous media. I felt we needed more musicians and songs that could be played/performed during these type of movements to boost the morale of anyone involved. Uplifted by the courage of everybody fighting for freedom around the world, this track was born.


By Fleur Doree

The song ‘Freedom’ was inspired by the Anti-mandate protests. I sung it at the Picton Protest Camp and a lot of other freedom festivals in Christchurch along with the rest of the songs I wrote for an album inspired by the protest movement and dedicated it to my 22-year-old son who passed suddenly in January 2021 in Australia right in the middle of the pandemic. The lyrics of Freedom say it best for me:

I’m praying for the homeless people, praying for the lonely people, now praying for the hurting people, praying for the dying people, now I’m praying for the homeless people, praying for the hungry people, now praying for the crying people, praying for the suffering people now. I’m praying for the people. Can you hear the people? Can you hear them crying out?

That’s what the protest ended up like – a lot of people hurting, and no one listening.

You can hear and purhcase the full album of songs at 


Covid School

By Cassandra

I feel the eyes peering at me sideways.  Palms move in front of hissing toxic mouths. Cruel smirks. People savouring the gossip.  I walk into the staff office and see incriminating eyes on me. The chatter halts mid flow.  What had I done?  Nothing, except to say no.  I feel the pressure striking me from all angles. The anxiety hurries my pulse, my heart pumping in my ears. There is no sympathy here. Just a blank set of stares stamping me as an outsider.

… Read more


River of filth, or river of freedom?

By Peter

The Wellington protest camp of February 2022, and its fiery ending on March 2nd is now etched into NZ history. But what should our history books say about this event? Was it really as the government and the mainstream told us? Or did those two entities combine to create a false or misleading version of what was really happening? The truth of this historic event needs to be properly understood, and it needs to be understood why this is so important.

… Read more


A freedom diary

By Robyn

Sunday, 6 February 2022

A friend picked me up and we headed to Milton to join the Convoy 2022 which had started in Bluff earlier that morning. We waited in Milton and more vehicles arrived and we all stood around excitedly waiting in the street and chatting.  When the main convoy arrived there was much cheering and tooting and excitement was gathering. We really enjoyed the whole experience and it was heartening to see so many people standing on the roadside, on utes, at corners, babies, children, parents and grand parents, holding signs and blowing us kisses. One lady, obviously a grandmother, was holding a toddler and had a 3 yr old at her knee. I called  to her to look after those children and she had her hand on her heart and was crying. Very moving to see the emotion these people displayed.

… Read more


My story

By Alan

It is now a year since my hip replacement at Wellington Hospital. The fractured hip was caused by the riot police on Hill street at 6.15am on March the 2nd 2022 but the hip operation was not for a few days later.  We still are waiting for the police and their lawyers to consider what they are going to do about it. I cannot do most of the things I used to such as walk on rocks etc… that I did most of my life as a fishing and hunting guide. The police have acknowledged they did break my hip but have said it was my fault for being there.  Obviously we don’t accept that sort of rubbish.

… Read more

We went everywhere for freedom!

In the weeks leading up to the launch of ‘We Came Here for Freedom’ (Part 2) on July 1, 2023, we set out on a nationwide tour of screenings. And since then, despite being ignored by the nation’s media, we visited 30 towns and cities around New Zealand and played to sold-out cinemas across the country.

In any other time in our nation’s history, a film event like this – that recorded for history one of our country’s most turbulent and divisive periods – would have had been deemed noteworthy enough to recieve media support. But unfortunately we don’t live in normal times. We live in times of government-sponsored media censorship that is causing huge divisions in our society.

This tour was only possible because of the incredible support provided us by Voices for Freedom (who we are forever grateful to), and the incredible support of the community who came along to see the film in huge numbers. Thank you for your support!

Unlike the mainstream media in New Zealand, the filmmakers of We Came Here For Freedom do not receive any funding, from government or otherwise.

However, we do believe the film’s message of freedom of speech, freedom of choice and democracy is an important one, so we have made this film free to view so as many people as possible are able to see it. Therefore, if you believe in the importance of free speech as much as we do, please consider donating to help us continue our work.

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