Twelve people have been arrested following a peaceful protest at the Simons Pass dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Country. Among those arrested was an 88 year old South Island man.
45 Greenpeace activists arrived at the site before dawn today, some locking themselves onto diggers and trucks while others deployed a giant 80 by 25 metres banner reading, “Stop Dairy Expansion”.
The activists locked themselves to construction machinery being used to excavate tussock land for an irrigation pipeline to serve the Simons Pass mega-dairy conversion. Construction was stopped for nine hours.
Greenpeace sustainable agriculture campaigner, Gen Toop, says “the iconic and fragile area is no place for cows.”
“For the sake of the fragile Mackenzie and our rivers, industrial dairy expansion has to stop. A line is being crossed here in the Mackenzie. If this precious and unique area can be converted into an industrial dairy operation, nothing is safe,” she says.
“These twelve brave New Zealanders took a stand today on behalf of all of us who want to save our rivers, land, and climate from industrial dairy expansion.”
Greenpeace is calling on the Government to strengthen regulations around freshwater and agricultural pollution, and ban new dairy expansions. Over 30,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Government to do so.