Greenpeace protest posed no threat – Executive Director

Press release - September 23, 2010
Greenpeace says a box locked into a lift at the Fonterra building during this morning’s protest played a sound recording and posed no threat.

Police cleared the building shortly after the box was discovered. At 9am staff were allowed to return to their offices.

The box was installed by activists at 8am as part of an activity to make Fonterra staff aware of the cost of using palm kernel grown on destroyed rainforest in South East Asia. It played a voice recording combined with the sound of chainsaws.

Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid said this activity was a peaceful protest.

“Greenpeace New Zealand takes protest actions seriously and all our volunteer activists are highly trained, calm and respectful of police and emergency services. The right to peaceful protest is the foundation of a democratic society.

Greenpeace has peacefully protested for over 30 years and taking action is at the core of what we do as an organisation.

“This is only an hour’s disruption for Fonterra’s staff who make daily decision about importing palm kernel which is leading to a lifetime of disruption for the tens of thousands of people in Indonesia and Malaysia who are having their rainforested land destroyed by the palm products industry

“Due to increased deforestation in South East Asia everyone in the world will be facing huge disruptions from the runaway emissions causing climate change,” she said.

Earlier Greenpeace activists blocked the front entrance to the building. The barricade had two large television screens built into it which delivered shocking scenes of rainforest destruction recorded by a Greenpeace documentation team in East Kalimantan last weekend. Police have removed the barricade.

No other doors or exits were blocked during the protest.

Police have detained two Greenpeace activists.