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Last updated 14:36 19/05/2012
JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN/Fairfax NZ
BRAVING THE COLD: Protestors covered in molasses and cooking oil stand on Sumner Beach with their sign to protest against the proposed deep-sea oil drilling off Canterbury’s coast.
Freezing temperatures did not deter about 20 protesters from stripping down and lathering themselves in oil in Christchurch today.
Spokeswoman Hannah Flatman said the group, Oil Free Otautahi, held the “Oily People” event at Sumner Beach to oppose the proposed deep-sea oil drilling off Canterbury’s coast.
Exploratory drilling in the Canterbury Basin was expected to start as early as this summer, she said.
“These waters are up to 1500 metres deep, the same depth as the Deepwater Horizon exploratory drill, which exploded in 2010 and leaked 800 million litres of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. New Zealand is completely unprepared to deal with an oil spill of this magnitude.”
The Government should be promoting New Zealand’s world-class clean technology industry rather than inviting foreign companies to search for oil in high-risk depths around coastlines, she said.
Special thanks to Richard Charter