Greenpeace activists appear in court

The four will reappear in court in two weeks to enter a plea (Simon Wong/3 News)
The four will reappear in court in two weeks to enter a plea (Simon Wong/3 News)

Four Greenpeace activists who scaled scaffolding and then climbed onto Parliament House have appeared in court this morning.

Johno Smith, Jeff Harrison, Abi Smith and Verena Maeder all face a charge of trespass after the incident on June 25 where they spent much of the day on top of the building in an effort to protest the Government's inaction on climate change.

The four unfurled a banner and set up solar panels on the building.

However, instead of the focus being on their cause, the story became about how they managed to breach parliament security.

Speaker of the House David Carter ordered a review of security after the group climbed scaffolding at the rear of the building in place for earthquake strengthening work.

Three of the group made a brief appearance before a registrar at the Wellington District Court this morning. The other is expected to appear in the next few weeks.

They were represented today by lawyer Graeme Edgeler, however Ron Mansfield will be representing them throughout the case.

Outside court, Mr Smith read a Greenpeace statement in which he said New Zealand's once high standing on "matters of moral value" has been eroded under the current government.

"New Zealand used to be a country that was known for standing up and being counted in the world on matters of moral value, a great example of this was what happened after the Rainbow Warrior was bombed by the French government.

"Under the current government, New Zealand has gone off track and suddenly become one of the worst in the world at climate change action and that's embarrassing to us as a nation of proud Kiwis."

The group was remanded at large to reappear in two weeks where they will enter a plea.

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