Greenpeace activists have scaled the roof of New Zealand's Parliament in Wellington
Greenpeace activists have scaled the roof of New Zealand's Parliament in Wellington

Greenpeace activists break on to NZ Parliament roof

• Greenpeace protesters scale the roof of Parliament House
• Banner aimed at the PM reads: "Cut pollution, create jobs? Yeah, nah"
• Solar panels have been positioned on the ledge
• Protesters will reportedly charge their phones throughout the day using the solar panels

 

Four Greenpeace protesters have scaled the roof of Parliament House in Wellington to deliver eight solar panels.

They have also unfurled a large banner aimed at Prime Minister John Key that reads: "Cut pollution, create jobs? Yeah, nah".

The protesters are near the top of the building. Two are holding yellow signs saying "This is real climate action."

The protesters are in jump suits and have secured themselves using ropes. They have also positioned a solar panel about two metres long on the ledge with them.
 

A police spokesman said police were supporting parliamentary security staff, who had issued the four protestors trespass notices.

"We are monitoring the situation," he said.

He refused to answer a question about any consequences for the protestors if they ignored those trespass notices.

"We are not going to speculate," he said.

The environmental group says the message refers to what it says is the "Government's failure to act on climate change, which has seen pollution increase and New Zealand miss out on creating thousands of clean energy jobs."
 

Greenpeace spokesman Nathan Argent said the four activists were all Greenpeace volunteers.

He could not comment as to how the protesters got onto the roof of Parliament House.

He said they were expected to stay on the roof for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile crowds are beginning to gather on parliament lawn.

He said they were here today to call upon the Government to make a real climate action plan.

"That would be New Zealand for 100 per cent clean energy so that we can take pollution out of the economy.

"For a long time the government has failed to introduce a single piece if legislation to specifically reduce pollution.

"We need real climate action - it's about harnessing the enormous opportunity from clean energy."

Mr Argent said security were notified of their plans this morning.

"The most important thing about this morning is that everybody is safe. They're trained, they're professional, they know what they're doing."

The protesters will charge their phones throughout the day using the solar panels, a Greenpeace worker said.
 

Media are now outnumbered by onlookers.

Mr Argent said the action was a "last resort" and came after his lobbying of the Government failed to result in meaningful action on climate change.

"It is to send a message to the Government that we want a real climate action plan now."


Greenpeace says government figures show by 2020, emissions will be 30 per cent more than 1990.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said she could understand why the protest was occurring.

"Greenpeace is representing thousands of New Zealanders who want the Government to take stronger action on climate change.

"I don't object to non-violent direct action, which is what this is. And I think the message is clear - the Government needs to take real action."

Other activists are watching the protest from outside of Parliament's grounds. Approached for comment, one said Greenpeace spokespeople would be making a statement shortly.

Security are visible through windows behind the group, as well as on the roof.

Judith Collins was quick to make jokes at the protestors expense on Twitter.

"What's the chance that Greenpeace could just stay up on Parliament's roof for a few days. Could be quite cold tonight. #lucky2beinNZ," she wrote.

She then offered to take them some snacks.

"Well, if only they'd let me know, I could have sorted something [soup emoji] [pizza emoji]."

Greenpeace activist and Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless said she was unaware of today's protest, but supported messages about climate change.

"It's all hands to the pump, everyone's protesting in their own way trying to bring awareness to this because it's tremendously serious."

"If the Pope is coming out saying, 'This is real' - it's a matter of urgent global justice and it's about survival and having a viable planet for our children."

She said not enough was being done at policy level to address climate change.

"It's real, it's here and governments, especially our government, should be getting on with things."


Recent Greenpeace action

April 2015: The Crossing
Six Greenpeace activists, including one New Zealand, climb aboard an oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to protest against Arctic drilling.

March 2015: Stop Deep Sea Oil
Greenpeace activists were among the 3,000 people who gathered outside a petroleum industry summit at Auckland's SkyCity.

Oct 2014: Polar bear protest
Greenpeace took a fake polar bear around New Zealand to raise awareness about what's happening in the Arctic and the impacts of climate change around the world.

September 2013: Save the Arctic: Artic 30
The crew of Greenpeace ship took part in a peaceful protest at Gazprom's oil rig to call attention to the threat of oil drilling and climate change.

 

The impact of climate change

• A rise in sea level due to melting glaciers and thermal expansion of oceans
• High levels of greenhouse gases from melting permafrost and dying forests
• High risk of more extreme weather, including heat waves, droughts and floods
• Natural systems, including coral reefs, mangroves, arctic ecosystems, alpine ecosystems, tropical forests, will be threatened
• An increase in the number of species going extinct
• Poorer countries will be most affected
 



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