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Greenpeace back to Matauri

Last updated 08:31 22/11/2012
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GOING DOWN: The Rainbow Warrior is scuttled at Matauri Bay in 1987 to form an artificial reef. The ntsGvesselnte ship was bombed by French secret agents in Auckland in 1985. A Dutch crewman died in the bombing.

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The new Rainbow Warrior is coming to Matauri Bay this summer.

The state-of-the-art new Greenpeace ship will be making its first visit to New Zealand in January and February.

"The Rainbow Warrior has been the heart and soul of Greenpeace global campaigning for more than 30 years," Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid says.

"She's been raided, rammed, shot at and bombed but the spirit of the Rainbow Warrior is as strong as ever."

Many Kiwis donated to the building of the new ship.

"The Rainbow Warrior connects with New Zealanders not only because of her namesake's past but also of what she represents for our future," Ms McDiarmid says.

She says it is appropriate to announce the visit of the ship at a time when the Government is giving out permits to foreign oil companies to come here and drill in even deeper waters off the coasts of Northland, Otago and Bay of Plenty.

The Rainbow Warrior will help kick off a national "Oil free seas" hui and festival at Te Kaha in mid-January.

At 58 metres long the new Rainbow Warrior is Greenpeace's first purpose-built ship, funded entirely by donations from supporters from across the world. Kiwi contributions funded the wet room. A plaque on board acknowledges this contribution.

After French Government agents bombed the first ship in Auckland harbour in 1985, it was laid to rest off Matauri Bay, Northland. The new Greenpeace ship, the third to hold the Rainbow Warrior name, will be docking at different locations for free public tours, including Matauri Bay.

Details will be posted when confirmed closer to the time at rainbow-warrior.org.nz.

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