'Climate emergency': ECAN declares Canterbury officially in a state of environmental crisis

Environment Canterbury has declared a climate emergency in its region. The decision was taken at a controversial meeting, with protesters demonstrating outside.

It was the moment protesters were waiting for. The crowd went wild after the decision was passed, putting Canterbury officially in a state of "climate emergency". 

Protesters chanted "we are unstoppable" as they rejoiced winning their campaign, Environment Canterbury upping the ante on climate change.

Rowan Brooks, an Extinction Rebellion Spokesperson, told Newshub: "A public institution has declared there's a climate emergency and that means we need to do stuff because we're facing a catastrophe if we don't."

Both sides made themselves heard - the debate was passionate.

One councillor said: "My wish is that this declaration be a beacon of hope."

"Intensification is not happening," argued a second councillor.

The 'yes' vote prompted insults flying the room: "It's really pathetic, it's disgraceful.

"You've all got your snouts in the trough, don't push me," said one opponent to the decision, as another tried to escort him from the chamber.

The state of emergency isn't binding and has no legal ramifications.

"Declaring an emergency is one thing, what does that mean?" said one protester.

Environment Canterbury Deputy Chair, Peter Scott, told Newshub: "Well nothing spectacular happens from here, it's business as usual as far as we're concerned, because it is part of what we do every day."

ECAN is taking a stand, but it's the protestors tonight basking in the glory - their climate change victory just the start of the fight ahead.