• New Zealand;
  • protest event analysis;
  • environmental movement;
  • non-governmental organizations;
  • forestry;
  • genetic engineering


Protest actions are an important indicator of public concern, raising awareness and highlighting perceived failings in administrative practices. With increasing prominence of environmental challenges there has been a move for states to incorporate stakeholders, potentially reducing the need for such confrontational actions. This article uses protest event analysis and case comparison to examine the scale and character of environmental protest actions in New Zealand from 1997–2010. This period was one of relative socio-economic stability, coupled with growing awareness of environmental challenges. The article considers the relative level of action of grassroots groups and more formalized NGOs, asking which issues generated protest actions and which factors contributed to environmental campaign outcomes. The findings suggest that, although protest actions can strengthen campaigns, the outcomes ultimately remain heavily dependent on the priorities of the state.