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New Rainbow Warrior to visit

State-of-the-art ship to visit Bluff

ALANA DIXON
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012
The new Rainbow Warrior
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SYMBOLIC SHIP: The new Rainbow Warrior will visit Bluff and Stewart Island as part of its first visit to New Zealand.

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The bombing of the original Rainbow Warrior is woven into Kiwi history, and Southlanders will soon get to experience the all-new Rainbow Warrior first-hand.

Greenpeace communications officer Dean Baigent-Mercer said the state-of-the-art ship would visit Bluff and Stewart Island at the end of January as part of its first visit to New Zealand and a nationwide public tour.

"We're going to have free tours of the ship, open days on board. Classes can come, members of the public can come, everybody's welcome aboard to be shown through the ship. It'll be amazing," he said.

The Rainbow Warrior was as symbolic now as it had been in the past, he said. "It just shows what we can do when we set ourselves a goal of innovation and genuinely being clean and green. It's a symbol of what this country should be doing, rather than moving towards deep-sea drilling and that kind of thing."

The Rainbow Warrior will also visit Te Whanau a Apanui at Whangaparaoa Bay, north of Auckland, and help kick off a national "Oil-free seas" hui and festival at Te Kaha in Bay of Plenty in mid-January.

Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid said the Rainbow Warrior had been the "heart and soul" of the organisation's global campaigning for more than 30 years.

"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 Rainbow Warrior so it's great to be able to show people what they made possible."

The ship is the third to have the name Rainbow Warrior.

After French government agents bombed the first ship in Auckland harbour in 1985, it was laid to rest off the Northland coast.

Its replacement ship was used for 21 years before going to Bangladesh charity Friendship last year to be used as a hospital ship.

alana.dixon@stl.co.nz

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