Highlights from the 2011 Stop Deep Sea Oil Flotilla

This is the story of the 2011 flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling, a group of boats that sailed in the name of te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Greenpeace, the Nuclear Free Flotilla, Forest and Bird, anti-mining group Coromandel Watchdog, the Coal Action Network (CAN), Board Riders against Drilling, and climate action group 350 Aotearoa, to protest the exploration for deep sea oil off the East Cape.

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The SV Vega is an 11.5 metre ketch launched in 1949 near Whangarei. Built on a Northland beach without the aid of power tools, she was planked from a single kauri log. In the early 1970’s she was bought by David McTaggart, a Canadian living in New Zealand, who went on to become the Chair of Greenpeace International.

Vega has participated in campaigns around the globe promoting Nuclear Free Seas, highlighting toxic issues, opposing driftnets and working to protect the environment.



Infinity is used for environment research and awareness raising, sailing extensively across the Pacific Ocean. Skipper Clemes Oestreich says “We didn’t want to be a spectator and use the Pacific for our pleasure. We wanted to contribute”.

The crew of Infinity have participated in scientific research into the coral reef crisis across Asian waters and the Pacific Ocean, whale observation and threatened bird research with Birdlife International.

An ongoing project is filming interviews of Pacific people’s observations and oral history on climate change impacts they see in their lives and their vision of the future.



Siome is just over 20 metres long, made of steel and built in 1988 by Alan Meyer and his family. Siome has had a busy life from being a family home for 20 years where six kids were raised as they travelled round world to being used to tag turtles on the Atlantic for research.

The next year, the crew of Siome successfully urged the Government of Vanuatu to make a stance against nuclear fuel ship movements through their waters.



Secret Affair is a 44-foot long gulf cruiser built in 1982 that has been with David Armstrong for 14 years. She’s very fast and weathered a few Pacific cyclones and challenged the French Government’s nuclear testing in the Pacific.



Windbourne, originally built in England, came to New Zealand 30 years ago where she was renovated in Nelson. Windbourne has been with current skipper Avon Hansford for seven years. He says much of her history is lost.

The current flotilla is possibly Windbourne’s first time at the environmental front line.

The latest updates


Cantabrian spirit shines through at Hands Across the Sand event

Blog entry by Siana | August 9, 2012

Although I was bursting with excitement in anticipation of Christchurch's own "Hands Across the Sand" event, mother nature didn't seem to share my enthusiasm and Saturday dawned cold and drizzly. Of course I had left all the important...

Arctic Ready, Shell’s Massive Hoax

Blog entry by Travis Nichols | July 20, 2012

Early this morning, Greenpeace mounted a satirical billboard near Shell’s Houston headquarters featuring a family of polar bears branded with the slogan “You can’t run your SUV on cute. Let’s Go.” We chose this ad from the over...

Greenpeace shows Shell the way forward

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | July 16, 2012

Speaking from within the headquarters of oil major Shell on Friday, the words of Greenpeace Netherlands executive director Sylvia Borren were clear:  "My first move as the new CEO of Shell is simple and effective: no drilling for oil...

New Shell CEO halts Arctic Drilling

Blog entry by Sylvia Borren, new CEO of Shell | July 13, 2012

Today is a historic day for Shell. For years, Shell has been investing its money in polluting oil drilling. From the Niger Delta to the Canadian Boreal forests people have to deal with the consequences of our environmentally...

Greenpeace, Radiohead & Jude Law team on #savethearctic video

Blog entry by Nick Young | July 3, 2012

We’ve teamed up with Radiohead and actor Jude Law to make a fantastic video to Save the Arctic . Take a minute to watch it yourself and then spread the message by sharing it with your friends and family.   Oil companies are...

Greenpeace, the Yes Men and the inside story of #ShellFail

Blog entry by James Turner | June 9, 2012

Shell has spent billions trying to persuade the world that Arctic drilling is not as obscene as it really is. The company opens its giant war chest every time it needs to put a message in front of the public, or wants to gain access to...

New Zealander in protest over Shell’s Arctic oil plans

Press release | May 4, 2012 at 16:45

New Zealander James Bellamy is this afternoon (NZ time) part of a Greenpeace Nordic team of activists that are involved in a stand-off at sea with a Shell-contracted icebreaker, the Nordica, that is on its way to the Arctic to support the...

The top five lessons not learnt from Deepwater Horizon

Blog entry by JulietteH | April 21, 2012

The second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is upon us - and looking at the lessons the oil industry got from it, you’d think it never happened. Here are the most important points governments and oil companies didn’t...

Deep-sea oil still a thousand times worse

Blog entry by Nick Young | April 5, 2012

We made a mistake.  The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld in part a complaint against Greenpeace New Zealand for our oiled-penguin advert which ran on TV3 and Prime TV in recent months. The nub of the issue is that...

Arctic video competition - watch and share

Blog entry by Jaakko Laasanen | March 17, 2012

Jaakko is a Greenpeace volunteer.

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