Climate activists have stood in Christchurch City Council chambers with duct-taped mouths and called for 30-seconds of silence to "grieve the loss of democracy and transparency" at the council.
Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi are protesting the council's plans to build a new international airport at Tarras in Central Otago.
Wearing shirts emblazoned with 'climate emergency' and with signs saying 'Silenced!', 'Excluded!' and 'Greedsters!', they voiced opposition to the plans.
They claim that decisions are being made behind closed doors and have major fears over the airport's impact on the environment and carbon footprint.
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ER spokeswoman Sarah Campbell stood to urge councilors to stop putting commercial interests ahead of the public's interests.
The group urged the councilors to vote against the airport plans.
They then asked for 30-seconds of silence to "grieve the loss of democracy and transparency" at the council.