The Greenpeace activists arrested in July over a dairy expansion protest in the Mackenzie have been granted diversions, the environmental group says.

A spokesman for Greenpeace said all 12 activists, dealt with at different courts including Timaru, Dunedin, and Christchurch, had escaped conviction.

The arrests were made at Simons Pass Station south of Lake Pukaki after a day of protests on July 2 that began when 11 protesters locked themselves on to diggers and machinery to be used in the construction of an irrigation pipeline for the 4500ha dairy farm development.

Greenpeace Sustainable Agricultural spokesperson Gen Toop said the activists, including a grandmother and an 89-year-old man, faced charges including trespass and unlawfully being on a vehicle, which carried a possible sentence of 2 years' imprisonment.


"It's hard to put into words the depth of bravery and courage it takes to do something like that.

"To lock yourself to heavy machinery, risk your safety, risk a criminal record, hefty fines or worse jail time," Toop said.

In August, protesters left a petition calling on Dunedin businessman Murray Valentine to stop his plans for the dairy farm development.

Valentine has 9600 hectares of land at Simon's Pass near Twizel and wants to irrigate 4500 hectares of that.