Breaking news: 7:46am: – Armed police raid regional council:
We’re here live in Napier, where a police anti-terror squad (pictured) has just stormed Dalton Street’s Hawke’s Bay Regional Council building. In less than three minutes, the elite team restrained, handcuffed and escorted the nine incumbent councillors into an armoured police vehicle.
BayBuzz will keep readers posted as further information comes to hand.
8:09am: – Police moved to quash “bio terror” threat:
We’ve just got off the phone to police commissioner Howard Broad, who confirmed this morning’s raid was an emergency directive from central government:
“In deciding to introduce didymo into a New Zealand waterway, Hawke’s Bay Regional council crossed the line – so we had to act fast. Eco-terror is a threat as real and apparent as any other. Those responsible will face serious charges under both the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, and the Biosecurity Act 1993.”
[Earlier this week regional council confirmed their decision to introduce didymo into the Tukituki – stating the “bacteria eating’” didymo alga would effectively “sanitise” the polluted river.
8:14am: – Reaction from council:
Still reeling from the effects of tear gas, a traumatised regional council spokesperson, Susan Wylie, tells us police were aiming too high. “Everyone knows the person responsible isn’t a councillor. The real threat is an undisclosed council employee, known to police only as “White Wolf”. Not even councillors know his identity. He’s a machiavellian kingpin on the inside, someone who can pull strings, someone that managed to get this unlikely didymo vote through council. The nine councillors arrested are totally ignorant of anything this man does, they’re just innocent, well meaning figureheads.”
8:27am: – Police confirm Wylie’s fears:
“Yes, we missed our man. We’re devastated,” Mr Broad said. “White Wolf has evaded capture, and is now a fugitive. It’s apparent to us he was tipped off before the raid, so we’re transporting the councillors to Bare Island, where they’ll be detained indefinitely until we work out who’s colluding with the Wolf.” Following the recent Urewera 17, the councillor detainees have already been dubbed “The Didymo Nine”.
Commissioner Broad is urging anyone with information on White Wolf, (also known to use the aliases “Hudson Hall”, “Murray Buchanan” or “Joe Dirt,”) to come forward. Police advise canoeists and fly fishermen not to approach the suspect, as it’s possible he may still have didymo on his person. BayBuzz will keep you updated.