|WAIHOPAI: Authorities denied the odd-looking ball was a spy base but protestors say not so.|
By Janika ter Ellen, TV3
Protestors claim the Waihopai spy base assists a US agenda and involves New Zealand in unjust wars.
And the international whistleblowing site, WikiLeaks, has provided them extra ammunition. One cable released by the site in December revealed NZ spied on Fiji during the 2006 coup - and gave the information to the US.
“It revealed the fact that NZ uses it as an opportunity to sit at the table with the big boys,” says protestor Murray Horton.
"Why should we be collecting intelligence to serve American foreign policy through a system which is of very little use to New Zealand,” says the Green Party’s Keith Locke.
But today's demonstration wasn't unopposed, thanks largely to three activists' attack on the dome with a sickle in 2008 - causing over a million dollars worth of damage.
Today marked Father Peter Murnane's first visit to the site since he and two others successfully avoided conviction for the attack. “We feel successful about showing NZ what the spy base does, and the evils with which it is connected.”
They may be just 30-strong in a country of 4 million - but these activists say they won't give up until the Government shuts Waihopai down.