Making a stand on the sand

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 08:54 19/05/2013
Oil protest
PHIL REID/Wellington

JOINING FORCES: Protesters at Oriental Bay yesterday joined hands in a symbolic act against offshore drilling.

Related Links

Tag Oil plans $40m drilling expansion Oil explorer holds its cash, eyes prospects Oil and gas could create 2300 jobs Green light for Dannevirke oil drilling Spill anniversary stirs Oil Free protest Oil and gas drilling gets under way NZ waters opened for oil exploration

Relevant offers

Politics

Party leaders call for full investigation of Government The ups and downs of National and its allies Judith Collins: Career timeline Beehive Live: Judith Collins conference Hager's relationship with hacker revealed Voters divided over who plays dirtiest Campaign Diary: Saturday, August 30 How Cullen helped Cunliffe stare down Key Numbers men offer voters clear options Dodging landmines takes toll on Key

Wellingtonians have joined forces with groups in 50 countries to protest against off-shore oil drilling.

About 50 people joined hands at Oriental Bay beach in Wellington yesterday as a symbol of their protest against United States oil giant Anadarko, which plans to explore for oil in Pegasus Basin, off Wellington's south coast, later this year.

Green MP Gareth Hughes and Greater Wellington regional councillor Paul Bruce were among those in the human chain.

Their Oriental Bay protest was one of many that took place across the world in unison yesterday as part of the global ''Hands Across The Sand'' day of action against offshore drilling and fossil fuels.

Wellington event organiser and Greenpeace member Miria Hudson said it was one of a large number of protests that will be directed at Anadarko.

''It's a very visual event in terms of everyone around the world doing the same thing at the same time. We think it will have an effect,'' she said.

In addition to the Wellington protest, there were demonstrations at beaches in Dunedin, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Nelson, Motueka, Golden Bay, Ohope and on Auckland's North Shore.

The Government granted Anadarko two exploration permits for adjoining blocks in the Pegasus Basin in December.

The oil giant hopes to find about 150 million barrels of oil in the area. Its drilling rigs could be as close as 25 kilometres from shore, or up to 100km away.

Ms Hudson said there were ''serious concerns'' Anadarko's safety record.

It had a 25 per cent share in the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon oil well that caused an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

An explosion on the rig killed 11 crewmen, and caused the biggest offshore oil spill in US history.

Anadarko has previously pointed out that it was not the operator of the well, and in 20 years of deepwater drilling it had never had a significant incident.

''The permit granted for exploration of the Pegasus Basin extends out to areas that are twice as deep as the Deepwater Horizon, and New Zealand simply does not have the capacity to respond to a blow-out in water that deep,'' Ms Hudson said.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content