Manawatu Standard

Greenpeace takes shed to council office in dam protest

- Fairfax NZ

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council says it will lodge a complaint with police after Greenpeace dumped a garden shed outside its Napier headquarte­rs.

The unusual protest action is part of the environmen­tal lobby group’s ongoing campaign against the Ruataniwha dam, which is being promoted by the council’s investment company.

Yesterday Greenpeace used a truck to uplift the aluminium shed from a farm in Tikokino, where the dam would be built, and transporte­d it about 100 kilometres to the council’s offices. The group attached ‘‘Ruataniwha dam site office’’ and ‘‘return to sender’’ signs on the shed which has been used to house a sign-in register for people visiting the dam site.

Greenpeace agricultur­e campaigner Genevieve Toop said the group wanted the dam scrapped and ‘‘it’s helping the council do so by returning the site office to sender’’.

Council chief executive Liz Lambert said her organisati­on planned to take the matter up with police.

The shed was taken from private property and its removal was concerning because it was used as part of the required health and safety procedure visitors to the dam site needed to follow, she said.

Toop said the stunt came ‘‘just days out from voting papers landing in people’s letterboxe­s for the upcoming local elections’’.

The council has tentativel­y agreed to invest $80 million in the $300m-plus irrigation project.

"The new council will be an important deciding factor in whether the dam goes ahead,’’ Toop said. ‘‘Water quality is expected to be front of mind for many voters.’’

The shed had been on the Wakarara Rd property of Craig Preston, a farmer whose property includes the site for the proposed 90-metre high dam.

Preston could not be reached for comment.

In an earlier protest against the dam, Greenpeace dumped containers carrying six tonnes of dairy sewage at ACC’S former Wellington head office.

ACC is rumoured to be in the final stages of signing off on a multimilli­on-dollar investment in the irrigation scheme.

The council removed the shed from outside the entrance to its building.

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