Last week, the NZ Court of Appeal ruled that the protestors, who damaged the Waihopai spy base in Marlborough, must cough up $1.2 million in damages.
You'll recall in 2008, Dominican friar Peter Murnane, farmer Samuel Land and teacher Adrian Leason trespassed onto the base and punctured an inflatable dome covering a large antennae. They felt the operation of the base was contributing to the second Iraq war, and their protest was aimed at exposing it.
In March 2010 their defence, that their actions were "for the greater good", amazingly scored them a Get Out Of Jail Free card...
At the time I questioned how this could be possible, when they admitted wilful trespass and damage to property! Well, the Crown obviously felt the same: in Aug.2011 it filed trespass charges and sought the cost of repairs to the facility, put at $1.2 million, winning its case in the High Court.
This trio of vandals naturally appealed, but the Appeal Court has now dismissed their bleatings, and made orders for costs against them.
So the protestors' self-righteous smug smiles are gone.
And the govt faces the arduous task of extracting $400K from each, as recompense for the taxpayers. All three trespassing vandals will bleat that they have no money. Bzzzzzt! FAIL!
A teacher, while not paid mega-bucks, will still have superannuation to cash in. A farmer can sell his farm. And a friar who claims to not have a red cent to his name...? Well, he'll just have to rely on the good nature of his Order and/or his supporters.
Or serve jail time. Simple as that.
That's the nature of the game they played. The game they LOST.