Radio New Zealand: Anti-oil protesters take to the beaches
Updated at 10:07 pm on 15 February 2014
Greenpeace says beach demonstrations around the South Island on Saturday are a clear message New Zealanders don’t want offshore drilling.
The Texan company Anadarko is about to begin drilling its first test well off the Otago-Southland coast in the search for a possible gasfield.
Greenpeace says more than 2000 people gathered on 21 South Island beaches in protest on Saturday afternoon.
Energy campaigner Steve Abel says protesters, including families, fishermen, tourism operators and iwi representatives, demonstrated they want a clean energy future for New Zealand.
He says the biggest turnouts were at beaches in Dunedin, with 600 people, Christchurch, with 500, and Kaikoura, 350.
Mr Abel says this shows people are very much saying they don’t want dozens of oil rigs dotted around the coastline.
He says they want jobs for New Zealand that don’t risk ruining fishing grounds or leave oil washing up on beaches.
Anti-oil protests at South Island beaches
18:29 Sat Feb 15 2014
Anti-oil protest have been held around South Island beaches as US oil company Anadarko continues its exploration of New Zealand waters.
Greenpeace says there were more than 2000 people at 20 beaches on the Mainland on Saturday, with the biggest crowds in Dunedin, Christchurch and Kaikoura.
The numbers showed New Zealanders did not want deep sea drilling off the coast, said Greenpeace energy campaigner Steve Abel.
“We don’t want to see dozens of oil rigs dotted off our coastlines – that is the awful vision of John Key and Anadarko. We want jobs for New Zealanders that don’t ruin our fishing grounds or risk oil washing on our beaches.”
Anadarko’s chartered ship the Noble Bob Douglas is now exploring the Canterbury Basin after failing to find oil off the west coast of the North Island.
It says it will most likely find natural gas in the Canterbury Basin, rather than oil.
The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association says finding commercial quantities of oil and natural gas is not easy, but drilling can be done safely in deep water.
In November last year, six boats protested against the Noble Bob Douglas off the Waikato coast. A subsequent Greenpeace legal challenge to the exploration permit failed.
Anti-oil protesters are again planning a sea-going protest off the Otago coast.
They say deep sea drilling for oil and gas is extremely risky for the environment and question the safety record of Anadarko, which was one of the companies behind the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
TV New Zealand
Oil Exploration Protesters Take to the Beaches
Anti-oil protesters across the South Island have continued their fight against Texan oil giant Anadarko today.
The Noble Bob Douglas will arrive close to New Zealander’s southern shores in the coming weeks for oil and gas exploration.
Over 2,000 people on 20 beaches across the South Island took part in the ‘Banners on the Beach’ protest against the ship’s arrival.
Last week Oil Free Otago sent a flotilla of yachts out to the drill-ship in an attempt to stop the exploration vessel.
Protesters from Kaikoura say seismic testing creates noise pollution that they fear will distress Kaikoura’s whales, dolphins and marine life.
Greenpeace energy campaigner, Steve Abel, said today’s turnout has sent a strong message to the Government and oil industry.
“Over 2000 people and families that have joined in today show that Kiwis don’t want deep sea drilling off our coasts. That’s not the future we want for New Zealand.
“We don’t want to see dozens of oil rigs dotted off our coastlines – that is the awful vision of John Key and Anadarko. We want jobs for New Zealanders that don’t ruin our fishing grounds or risk oil washing on our beaches.
“It’s about defending the way people put food on the table in New Zealand now and not selling out our kids’ future to foreign oil companies. We belong as part of the solution – sticking true to our clean green values and innovating a way forward – not as another oily backwater run for the benefit of US drillers.”
Last November over 5,000 people turned up to protest Anadarko’s drilling off the coast of Raglan.
The Eastern Tribune
Anti-oil protestors gather across the South Island
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
KAIKOURA: The Anti-oil protesters across the South Island are still fighting against the Texan oil giant Anadarko. The Noble Bob Douglas will soon arrive near New Zealander’s southern shores in the next few weeks for oil and gas exploration.
Around 2,000 people on 20 beaches throughout the South Island took part in a protest, ‘Banners on the Beach’, against the arrival of the ship. Earlier it was reported that Oil Free Otago had sent a fleet of yachts out towards the drill-ship in an effort to stop the exploration vessel. Kaikoura protesters believe the seismic testing creates noise pollution that will distress Kaikoura’s marine life.
Steve Abel, Greenpeace energy campaigner, said the turnout on the beaches has sent a strong message to the Government and oil industry. He said around 2000 people and families have come together which shows that Kiwis do not want deep sea drilling to be done off their coasts. That was not the future they wanted for New Zealand.
The protestors demand that they did not want to see dozens of oil rigs dotted off on their coastlines. That is an awful vision of John Key and Anadarko. They want jobs for New Zealanders that do not ruin their fishing grounds or have the risk of oil washing on their beaches. Steve Abel said that this fight was about defending how people put food on the table in New Zealand and not selling out their kids’ future to foreign oil companies. He said they were sticking true to their clean green values and finding a way forward with innovation and not as another oily backwater run for the benefit of US drillers.
Over 5,000 people had turned up to protest Anadarko’s drilling off the coast of Raglan.
– See more at: http://www.theeasterntribune.com/story/2906/anti-oil-protestors-gather-across-the-south-island/#sthash.eUGvbZrU.dpuf
Special thanks to Richard Charter