Greenpeace blocks ACC building with sewage

Greenpeace has left 6 tonnes of dairy sewage outside ACC's Wellington building (Greenpeace)
Greenpeace has left 6 tonnes of dairy sewage outside ACC's Wellington building (Greenpeace)

Greenpeace New Zealand has blocked the entrance to ACC's Wellington building with six tonnes of dairy sewage.

Six thousand litres of cow urine and other dairy waste, sealed in eight heavy-duty tanks, were placed across the two main entrances into ACC's offices on Molesworth Street at around 6:45am.

The protest comes during an escalating row over the Government department's investment in the controversial Ruataniwha irrigation scheme in Hawke's Bay.

The group has a live video feed of the demonstration on its Facebook page

Greenpeace blocks ACC building with sewage

The tanks, known as IBCs, or intermediate bulk containers, are industrial containers specifically designed for transporting and storing large amounts of liquids.

Greenpeace says big investors, including Ngai Tahu and Trustpower, have "deserted the Ruataniwha scheme, leaving Government departments, such as ACC, to plug the multi-million dollar funding gap if the project is to be completed".

A report commissioned by Hawke's Bay Regional Council examining the economics of the irrigation plan shows costs of the Ruataniwha scheme could climb to over $900 million.

Greenpeace agriculture campaigner Genevieve Toop says: "ACC looks set to throw away millions of dollars on the controversial Ruataniwha dam which will pollute our precious rivers. And that’s just taking the piss.

"This pollution will only get worse if Government departments like ACC throw taxpayers’ money at irrigation schemes like Ruataniwha that expand the industrial dairy sector."

ACC says it has no knowledge of an investment in the project.

Greenpeace blocks ACC building with sewage

More than 20,000 people have signed a Greenpeace petition calling on the Government to stop funding industrial scale irrigation, like the plans at Ruataniwha and the Central Plains Water Scheme in Canterbury.

Last week, the company behind the Ruataniwha project - Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd - announced it had enough land users signed up for the project to proceed.

The project's dam will hold about 100 million cubic metres of water and allow growers to irrigate more than 26,000ha and potentially increase the Bay's GDP by $380 million.

The dam has come under fire from Forest & Bird who is currently appealing a High Court decision that allowed the Department of Conservation to unwind environmental protection on land in Hawke's Bay which will allow the project to proceed.

Newshub. / NZN