Oil protesters throw 'unwelcoming party' on Wellington Harbour

Protesters took to Wellington Harbour on Sunday to make it clear  they did not want the Amazon Warrior in the country.
TIM ONNES/SUPPLIED

Protesters took to Wellington Harbour on Sunday to make it clear they did not want the Amazon Warrior in the country.

More than 100 people, some in kayaks, have thrown an "unwelcoming party" for Statoil and Chevron on Wellington Harbour.

"We're making it clear to them and to the Government that we won't stand for a future full of fossil fuels," Oil Free Wellington spokeswoman Michelle Ducat said on Sunday.

Those two oil companies have contracted the world's largest seismic blasting ship, the Amazon Warrior, to look for oil off Wellington's coast.

Wellingtonians sign an anti-oil exploration banner that will be sent to Statoil and Chevron.
Tim Onnes

Wellingtonians sign an anti-oil exploration banner that will be sent to Statoil and Chevron.

The ship is expected to arrive in New Zealand waters any day now.

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"If we have any hope for a stable climate, we can't let Statoil and Chevron explore for yet more oil and gas. Scientists tell us we cannot even burn existing reserves. We need to urgently move away from fossil fuels."

More protesters on Wellington's waterfront also stood in solidarity with those on the water.
Tim Onnes

More protesters on Wellington's waterfront also stood in solidarity with those on the water.

Ducat's group were joined by Te Ikaroa, a group representing tangata whenua opposed to oil exploration off the East Coast.

Te Ikaroa spokesperson Tere Harrison spoke at the event about how numerous hapu and iwi from the East Coast to the top of the South Island were opposed to oil drilling because of harm to the environment. 

Greenpeace members also spoke about how they were convinced the Government was unable to protect marine environments if there was an oil spill.

"That was evident in the Rena disaster," Harrison said.

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Statoil recently gave up its Northland permits after ongoing opposition.

Ducat said it was time to kick Statoil out of New Zealand for good

"It's been nearly a year since the Paris climate agreement and it's clear that Government won't act - in fact it is continuing to invite oil and gas companies to explore in our waters."

 - Stuff

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