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Activists hurl water bombs at Trump effigy

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/06/2017

Climate change activists hurled water-filled balloons at an effigy of US President Donald Trump outside parliament on Tuesday as Prime Minister Bill English was meeting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Mr Tillerson didn't see any of the action - the talks were taking place at another venue well away from the scene. About 300 campaigners gathered on parliament's forecourt to demonstrate at the US administration's attitude to climate change and President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

"Trump and Tillerson - Climate Terrorists," their placards said. "Climate Criminals are Stealing Our Childrens' Future" and "Love your neighbour - flood their islands".

At the back of parliament, rain didn't deter three protesters who climbed up a crane at an adjacent construction site to unfurl a banner saying "Climate Denial, Huuge Mistake! RESIST".

When they came down they were arrested.

"Three people are in custody for (being) unlawfully in an enclosed yard," a police spokeswoman told NZ Newswire.

Greenpeace organised the demonstrations they said were designed to give Mr Tillerson an "unwelcome to Wellington" just days after President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement.

They've spent the long weekend calling for Prime Minister Bill English to raise New Zealand's disagreement with the US position during meetings on Tuesday and they look likely to get their wish.

Mr English said ahead of his meeting that while climate change would be raised with Mr Tillerson, the economic and security relationship between New Zealand and the US was expected to take priority.

The progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership without the US, terrorism, Antarctica and the recent request for two additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan are also expected to make the agenda.

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