A dozen Greenpeace activists arrested for protesting the site of a mega dairy farm in the Mackenzie Country earlier this year will not be convicted.
Those arrested include a grandmother and an 89 year old man. All 12 activists were granted diversion which means they will not receive a criminal conviction.
"These twelve courageous New Zealanders took a stand on behalf of all of us who want to save the Mackenzie from industrial dairy expansion." says Greenpeace Sustainable Agricultural spokesperson Gen Toop.
In early July 12 activists had locked themselves onto machinery being used to dig a large pipeline to irrigate the proposed dairy farm at Simon’s Pass near Lake Pūkaki.
Nearby on the shores of the lake other protestors laid out a huge banner the size of half a rugby field saying "Stop Dairy Conversions."
Today the environmental group has released a video outlining the reasons for their dramatic action.
"It’s hard to put into words the depth of bravery and courage it takes to do something like that. To lock yourself to heavy machinery, risk your safety, risk a criminal record, hefty fines or worse jail time" says Toop
The activists were arrested and charges included trespass and unlawfully being on a vehicle, which carries a possible sentence of imprisonment of 2 years.
The action was part of the Greenpeace campaign for a ban on new dairy farms and end to further livestock intensification.
Despite construction on the pipeline having begun the conversion does not have all the necessary consents it needs to go ahead.
The Mackenzie District council is currently deliberating over one of the remaining resource consent applications by the owner.
The consent application is for irrigating and direct drilling land under 6 of the 41 centre pivot irrigators planned.
A decision is expected over coming days.