Greenpeace Parliament Climbers Convicted of Trespass

Press release - August 14, 2015
Four Greenpeace campaigners who scaled Parliament House with a delivery of eight solar panels were today convicted of trespass.

The group had earlier entered a guilty plea at a court hearing in July.

They’ll be sentenced at a later date.

The climbers unfurled a banner featuring a smiling headshot of John Key from the Wellington landmark in June. The banner said “Cut pollution, create jobs? Yeah, nah” in reference to the government’s failure to tackle pollution, thereby missing out on the thousands of clean energy jobs that could be created by doing so.

The group stayed on the roof for the day, connecting with people around the world using social media applications such as live-stream app Periscope. Their phones and computer were charged by the solar panels they had up there.

Just yesterday, state-owned coal company Solid Energy announced it was to go into administration, which could see hundreds of job losses.

Speaking outside Auckland District Court, Johno Smith, one of the four climbers, said:

“We climbed Parliament because this government is not taking climate change seriously. In seven years, John Key and his government haven’t introduced one single piece of law to reduce climate pollution.

“That’s bad news for our country, our planet, our kids and our economy.

“Just yesterday we saw how the government’s failure to back a clean energy economy affects real working Kiwis, as Solid Energy said it was going into administration. Hundreds of people may now lose their jobs. If the government had instead backed our own clean energy industries, we could be looking at thousands of jobs being created.

“Clean energy is our future. We should be backing this one hundred per cent.”