© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

Christchurch city stands with nature

Charlotte Thieme
Elizabeth Thomson
"Nurture Nature" protest sign  Elizabeth Thomson

It was a big day for Christchurch nature-lovers in the CBD on Saturday.

Environmental activists were out in droves over the weekend, protesting, demonstrating and campaigning in the heart of Christchurch.

It was a city fighting for all-round eco-friendliness in full force.

Animal cruelty, 1080 pesticide, and climate change were the hot topics of the day.

Dominique Mallard, an organiser of 'Anonymous for the Voiceless' in Christchurch, said the three separate events coincided coincidentally, but she loved that people were stepping up and speaking out about key issues.

Anonymous for the Voiceless, a non-profit global organisation, ran the 'cube of truth' demonstration, promoting veganism, and rejecting animal cruelty.

This silent demonstration featured four people at a time, with confronting footage of animal cruelty in farms across New Zealand that played on screens in front of them.

protest 2
The 'Cube of Truth,' Victoria Square Elizabeth Thomson

Each demonstrator painted a poignant picture, in 'Anonymous' masks that obscured their faces. Mallard said these were for the purpose of "removing themselves from the footage shown." 

She said the protest's silence allowed the footage to speak for itself.

Silence was also a key theme on Saturday in the march against 1080 pesticide. 

METRONEWS caught up with two activists, Cheryl and Sam Hyde, on their way to the 1080 silent protest. 

They said that, through silence, they hoped to maintain a peaceful and non-aggressive approach to the issue.

"We're not aggressive people. And they can't talk, so we're standing for them." 

There was a procession along Colombo Street in the CBD to ban the use of the "Inhumane" poison on predators, and prevent knock-on effects such as waterway pollution. 

"They suffer from 6 to 18 hours. A slow death, instead of a quick death." Sam Hyde said. "And if an animal dies and lands in a river, it's contaminated. And they’re supposed to go and clean up all the animals that die, but they don't. They leave them there." 

The protesters in hazmat suits and gas masks held signs calling for peace, love and the protection of nature for future generations. 

A Green Party member at the 'Rise for Climate' rally shared the same sentiment. 

He said that climate change would "kill our children, and our planet," but that other parties were unwilling to act on preventing this. 

A poster from the 'Rise for Climate' rally Elizabeth Thomson

Dirk Delu, a representative for the Green Party, was at the 350-run event in Victoria Square on Saturday, promoting a clean green future befitting New Zealand's '100% pure' image. 

He said there were a number of solutions to soaring greenhouse gas emissions, but that the current coalition government was taking "baby steps" when "bigger steps" needed to be taken. 

The three events ran simultaneously, all within a kilometre of each other, and brought residents into the city to "stand together," with the animals, and the environment. 

"It's all about us coming together. We've got to stand together to help those who don't have a voice." Sarah Hyde said.