Dunedin mounts drilling protest

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 05:00 13/01/2014
Protesters on Otago Harbour
WILMA McCORKINDALE/Fairfax NZ

OIL FREE MESSAGE: Protesters on Otago Harbour on Sunday.

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An oil-free message was sent to prospecting oil giants by 250 boaties, kayakers, and surfers on Otago Harbour on Sunday. 

The afternoon blockade of the harbour commercial shipping channel between Goat and Quarantine Islands culminated the weekend's OilFree Summit held in Dunedin.

Organiser Niamh O'Flynn of Oil Free Otago said the flotilla of craft on the water included 26 kayaks, six boats, 10 surfers and a six person waka and a paddle board.

Dunedin was this year been selected for the summit as the next place in New Zealand to face drilling, and because of that the city needed to show resistance, O'Flynn said.

Texan company Anadarko Petroleum announced last year it was sending its test drill ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, into its southern prospects in the Canterbury basin. The nearest main centre is Dunedin.

Last week Dutch Shell’s joint venture announced its decision to test drill in the Great Southern Basin, off the bottom tip of the South Island.

Dunedin, the largest centre close to both areas,  is in a fever about possible status as the companies’ main base.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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