Greenpeace avoids police charges

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Greenpeace uplifted the site office of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam and delivered it to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council offices in Napier. Photo by Annette Hilton.
Greenpeace uplifted the site office of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam and delivered it to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council offices in Napier. Photo by Annette Hilton.

Greenpeace's stunt of "uplifting" the Ruataniwha Dam site office to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council building in Napier was reported to police.

However, interim chief executive Liz Lambert said no further action would be taken.

The council notified police but chose not to lay a formal complaint.

Vocal about his concerns surrounding the project, regional councillor Rex Graham said that while he couldn't condone Greenpeace's actions, he agreed there was no need to involve the police.

"I thought Fenton [HBRC chairman Fenton Wilson] handled it well. Greenpeace are activists - no one was hurt, and they are making their point.

"It's good there are activists around - democracy needs activists - they will sometimes cross the line but that's the nature of being an activist."

Other councillors have taken a different stance to Greenpeace's actions on Tuesday when they transported the site office from Tikokino to Napier.

CHB councillor Debbie Hewitt, slammed Greenpeace's actions as "immature and childish".

"This is a professional organisation funded by a lot of benefactors, and here they are trespassing and stealing private property.

"It goes hand in hand with the other strange antics they have been up to," she said referring to an email campaign from protesters to selected regional councillors.

"I've had about 8000 emails from them over the last two to three weeks - it's created havoc in my inbox."

As of yesterday, the site office had been moved to the council's works group depot at Taradale, and no decision had been made on whether to return it to the site or not.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has produced a two-page flyer about the dam that it is calling on their Hawke's Bay supporters to circulate.

Titled "Dam Wrong - Why the Ruataniwha Dam will mean more local water pollution" it claims the dam is an economic gamble that will pollute local rivers and heighten the risk of further water contamination.

It laid out suggestions of what people could do to stop the dam, including checking what way their local regional councillors intended to vote on the dam, and writing letters, putting anti-dam signs on fences and raising concerns with councillors.

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