Around 100 water activists have stormed the offices of Environment Canterbury (Ecan) in Christchurch on Thursday morning.
The group is demanding that local democracy be returned to the people of Canterbury so they can get on with saving the region's ailing rivers.
"We are standing up for our rivers and we are taking our democracy back," says Greenpeace campaigner Gen Toop.
"We will not to be silenced and we will not stand aside and let our rivers continue to be destroyed by too many cows."
The group, which has the backing of Greenpeace, is calling for urgent actions to save rivers.
"The Government have stolen democracy from the people of Canterbury," Ms Toop adds.
"In return they gave us more big irrigation, more cows and more polluted rivers."
The activists have set up 'The People's Ecan' inside the lobby where they are listing their demands of ECan to clean up rivers.