Police work to counter further protests

Activists inside the pipes. PHOTO: GREENPEACE

Police are planning how to counter further Greenpeace bids to stop a $200 million irrigation project in Canterbury.

Last Wednesday, about 20 protesters from Greenpeace blocked work where the second stage of the Central Plains Water scheme is under construction near Hororata, saying more cows bring more pollution.

Police met with CPW yesterday about future protests and how they can be dealt with.

Senior Sergeant Pete Stills told The Star he expected Greenpeace “to have another crack at some point”.

“Greenpeace doesn’t tend to do a one-off,” he said.

Greenpeace campaigner Genevieve Toop said there would be more protests.

“We have been really open about going back. We will bring more people and aim to stay longer,” she said.

“I can’t tell you any details about numbers [of protesters], a date or the location at this stage, but we will hit them in Canterbury somewhere at some time.”

“They [police and CPW] have nothing to worry about, we are peaceful and non-violent. They have nothing to fear from us. We are just standing up for rivers,” she said.

Work on the scheme started in April. There will be a 56km canal between the Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers to irrigate the central Canterbury Plains.

When completed it will irrigate about 60,000ha of farmland.

The CPW scheme is one of three irrigation schemes in Canterbury, and part of eight nationwide. Miss Toop said any of the three in Canterbury could be targeted by them at any time.