Activists lock themselves in Central Plains Water pipes

Activists inside the pipes. PHOTO: GREENPEACE

Greenpeace activitists have locked themselves in irrigation pipes, stopping work on the Central Plains Water irrigation scheme.

Speaking from the construction site, Greenpeace Campaigner Genevieve Toop said they had taken the measures to take a stand against intensive dairy farming.

Central Plains Water is the biggest irrigation scheme to be built under the Government’s 480 million dollar irrigation fund.  There are another eight more irrigation schemes proposed.

Several activists have locked themselves inside irrigation pipes, and inside machinery, while others are blocking the pipe trench being dug.

They are holding banners reading “Stop Big Irrigation #SaveOurRivers”.

The action comes after the demise of the Ruataniwha Irrigation Dam which was forecast to drive more intensive dairying in Central Hawkes Bay.

“We’ve stopped the Dam in Hawke’s Bay, and now we’re in Canterbury to stand up for the rivers here.” said Ms Toop.

“This is an enormous publicly funded irrigation scheme which will increase the dairy herd and pollute Canterbury’s rivers.  What’s worse is that there are eight more irrigation schemes just like it in the pipeline” she says.

“There are already too many cows in NZ.  If we are going to have clean rivers and safe water we need fewer cows,” she said.