Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • This morning, a team of Greenpeace activists were met by an overwhelming police presence at the Port of Taranaki.

    Early this morning the Polarcus Alima - a survey vessel chartered by the US oil giant Anadarko - slipped in to the Port of Taranaki.

    They no doubt hoped to keep a low profile before embarking on their scheduled assignment to explore for deep sea oil reserves off the coast of Raglan but we cannot let this go unnoticed. This is the pointy end of the looming deep sea oil rush in New Zealand coastal waters.

    Greenpeace had a small team there to meet it with a peaceful protest but the police seem unusually interested in preventing anything coming between Anadarko and New Zealand’s promised deep sea oil reserves. How did they know we were coming? We’re not sure. But what is clear ... Read more >

  • No drill - No spill

    Blogpost by Dean Baigent-Mercer - October 17, 2011 at 9:17

    ‘Where has the oil gone?’ we asked ourselves. First it was coating the beaches, rocky shorelines, birds and seals then the rest in the sea disappeared. There was little official information we could get and media reports suggested it was heading south somewhere between Whakatane and Whangaparaoa Bay (where our flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling set off earlier this year).

    Fortunately a friend emailed me that a hui was called at Te Kaha Marae for officials to inform and discuss a localised response.

    So while Greenpeace volunteers worked on Matakana Island to clear oil with hapu, a small team headed to Te Kaha. On the way there I saw with new eyes coastal areas most vulnerable to contamination as we travelled east and contemplated how everything could change by the end of this week i... Read more >

  • Stories from the Rainbow Warrior: Episode 1

    Blogpost by Brian Fitzgerald - October 16, 2011 at 11:42

    Pablo Bullrich is one of our "New Hands on Deck" -- young activists who are joining the Rainbow Warrior III's maiden voyage. This is the first episode of a web video mini-series, Stories from the Rainbow Warrior, where you can join their journey. To find out more about Pablo and his fellow New Hands on Deck, visit and like their page on Facebook. You'll find further episodes of their story as the ship makes its way from Bremen to Hamburg, Amsterdam, London, Stockholm, Marseilles, Genoa, and Barcelona before heading off to the Amazon.

    And if you're one of the 100,000+ people who crowd-funded this ship by buying a cleat, a bolt, a sail, the wheelhouse, we'd like to thank you for your generosity. Keep a sharp eye out -- we'll be featuring some of the items you purchased in these videos. Read more >

  • The oil is less obvious but the problem is spreading

    Blogpost by Dean Baigent-Mercer - October 16, 2011 at 8:42

    The sun rose to lesser amounts of oil on the beaches of Tauranga. Even so, its removal was essential because it’s toxic and harmful to a range of wildlife and human health.

    The sunny day enticed hundreds of people out to help (before the rugby). The view as far as you could see from the Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club looked like hundreds of aliens in space suits removing oil from the sand.

    Throughout the day we heard reports of local surfers helping to clean up Matakana Island. Further south in Maketu local fisherman and surfers took to cleaning up the headland that’s such an important part of their lives.

    Reports came in of large numbers of fur seals and shellfish dying on Motiti Island which is closest to Rena the ship that haemorrhaged heavy fuel oil.

    As a few of us chatted on a boa... Read more >

  • Rena's black tide brings heartbreak on Motiti Island

    Blogpost by Mike Smith - October 15, 2011 at 13:59

    Yesterday I spent the day at the Rena oil spill ground zero ... Motiti Island.

    Words cannot adequately describe the how we felt after we circled the wreck in a small plane and saw the extent of the oil leaks ... we flew over smoking forty four gallon drums of god knows what floating out at sea. On the island we spoke to the local kids who had picked up sacks of "White powder" on the shoreline .. we walked the rocky coastline and found untold dead and dying wildlife including seals and birds ... we came to understand that a clean up operation on a rocky coastline will be just about impossible and that we were witnessing the end of a peoples way of life. And we came to the inescapable conclusion the prevention is infinitely better than cure.

    Once an event like this happens there is no going... Read more >

  • Naming a ship: the legend of the Rainbow Warrior

    Blogpost by Brian Fitzgerald - October 14, 2011 at 11:50


    It was the meeting of many traditions as the Rainbow Warrior received her name today. As with any ship, there was the bottle of champagne and the naming. But in Greenpeace fashion, one of our Climate and Energy campaigners from Canada, a member of the Cree community, took on the role of name-giver. She reminded us that while this ship may be made of new steel and canvass, she's part of a longer story, back beyond her two predecessors and deep into the past, where the legend she is named for was born:

    Tansi Kiya. Niya Melina Miyowapan Laboucan-Massimo. Niya Nehiyaw. Kinaskomitinow.

    Hello. My name is Melina Miyowapan Laboucan-Massimo. I come from a northern Cree community in Alberta, Canada. I have come here today to talk about the prophecy from which the Rainbow Warrior gets... Read more >

  • We were simply not prepared for this

    Blogpost by Dom Zapata, Greenpeace New Zealand activist - October 14, 2011 at 6:01

    It was only a few days ago, as I was on my stand up paddleboard, paddling around Rabbit Island just off Mount Maunganui, that I marvelled at the increasing numbers of seals that have started to re-populate the area. They were sunbathing on the rocks and playing in the water. Shags and penguins were bobbing around close by and the odd stingray shot off as I glided over them. The water was clear and calm and I could see the forests off seaweed on the reef below me gently dancing in the currents.

    The reef is home to a vast array of sealife and is the cornerstone of the marine environment. That’s why people come here, to see and enjoy nature’s playground, to surf and dive, go fishing and kayaking or just relax on the beach with their families and enjoy the gifts of Tangaroa.

    Skip forward tw... Read more >

  • Photo: Gemz Photography

    Environment Minister Nick Smith has declared that the Rena oil spill off the coast of Tauranga has become the worst maritime environmental disaster in New Zealand’s history.

    Hundreds of tonnes of oil have now leaked in to the ocean, and with the vessel listing badly in heavy seas causing many shipping containers to fall into the sea. More and more toxic oil globules have landed on beaches as far as Sulphur Point and along the foreshore at Matua. Sheets of thick, pungent oil, two to three metres wide, have been found covering Papamoa beach.

    And as the oil from the ship is spreading faster than expected, dead birds and other marine life are being left in its wake.

    The captain of the ship has been charged under Section 65 of the Maritime Act, covering dangerous ... Read more >

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