Greenpeace activists have chained themselves to a ship moored off Tauranga, protesting against a shipment of palm kernel animal feed.
The 12 activists have boarded the East Ambition, waiting to enter the Port of Tauranga and destined for Fonterra dairy farms.
The protestors are calling on Prime Minister John Key to halt imports of the palm kernel feed due to its impact on climate change and address intensive dairy farming in New Zealand.
"Fonterra's involvement in rainforest destruction and the massive climate impact this causes is criminal," says Jo McVeagh, an activist locked to one of the cranes.
Greenpeace Spokesman Simon Boxer says they boarded the ship around 9am on Wednesday morning, in what he calls a peaceful protest.
Boxer says they didn't encounter any opposition and things are peaceful on board, he says the ship's captain, the pilot, and the port authorities have all been notified.
Fonterra has been fighting off backlash over the past month after being accused of buying the cheap feed at the expense of New Zealand farmers and the environment.
Boxer says the revelation is a slap in the face of New Zealand grain grower, calling on Fonterra to stop the imports.
However Federated Farmers is rejecting the claims that the dairy feed is contributing to the destruction of rainforests.
They say the kernel is a waste product and the real cause of deforestation is consumer demand for palm oil based products.
Palm kernel imports went from 0.4 tonnes in 1999 to 455,000 tonnes in 2007 and then to 1.1 million tonnes in 2008.
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