A small vessel carrying a coalition of activists refuses to move from the site where Texan oil giant Anadarko intends to drill off the coast of New Zealand, despite the nearby presence of the drilling platform.
The protesting vessel, the Vega, is part of the Oil Free Seas flotilla, a coalition of New Zealanders and boat owners opposed to deep soil oil exploration in the region. Anadarko was also involved in the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid is onboard the Vega and hopes to deliver a children’s flag to the drilling ship, which she contacted by radio stating:
“The sailing vessel Vega will not be moving. We will stay where we are in defence of our ocean, in defence of future generations, in defense of climate.
“We have onboard a flag made by children that says ‘I love my beach’. These children don’t want oil slopping onto their beaches.”
“We’re here to deliver this children’s flag to Anadarko’s massive, untested drilling ship. Anadarko have consistently ignored New Zealand. They, and the government, have hidden vital information from the people of New Zealand. So let’s see if they’ll ignore our children.”
Earlier this year, the Government announced a controversial new law to ban aspects of protesting at sea, known as the ‘Anadarko Amendment’. The amendment is a threat to peaceful protest as are the unjust charges of piracy and hooliganism on the Arctic 30 from the Russian government following a peaceful protest against offshore drilling by oil giant Gazprom.