In passing the 'Anadarko Amendment' yesterday the Government once again perverted the New Zealand Story by putting big business ahead of New Zealanders.
It is a toady legislation that criminalises crucial aspects of protesting at sea; it's an affront to New Zealand’s democracy and to our long held right and proud tradition of peaceful protest at sea. It is obviously designed to placate foreign oil companies nervous about coming to New Zealand after seeing the rough ride given to Petrobas off the East Cape, but it’s backfired. It’s been so badly done and is so unpopular that it’s really just demonstrated to big foreign oil companies that deep sea drilling in New Zealand is not a safe bet.
New Zealand once sent a cabinet minister with the NZ Navy aboard the HMNZS Otago and the HMNZS Canterbury to protest French nuclear testing at Moruroa Atoll in the Pacific. Ordinary New Zealanders took to the sea to protest nuclear powered ships entering our harbours. Both things made our waters safer and cleaner, and went on to define New Zealand as a nation that wasn't afraid to stand up for itself.
Polling showed that even National Party voters don’t like this legislation and almost 40,000 people have now signed the Statement to Defend the Right to Peaceful Protest at Sea - that's twice the number of people that voted for Simon Bridges at the last election!
And New Zealanders who care about our special place will not be deterred.
Just as we once defended our waters from nuclear pollution and more recently against Petrobras we will do so again.
We stand by the message we sent to Anadarko from the Rainbow Warrior in the Cook Strait:
The catastrophic disaster in the Gulf of Mexico showed us all the terrible risks of deep sea drilling. We do not want to take that risk with the coastlines and oceans on which we depend for our economy, our culture and our way of life. We do not need to take that risk. We can thrive with clean energy and remain true to our values and reputation for being an unspoiled place.
We are strong willed, determined and persistent and we will defend our unspoiled waters by all peaceful means available to us.
Anadarko do not drill for oil here.
So Simon Bridges was too scared to have his draconian law change properly tested in Parliament, but it will certainly be tested at sea.
And you can send a message to Anadarko right now.