Thousands of Kiwis flocked to beaches around the country today to demonstrate their opposition to deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand waters.
‘Banners on the beach’ activities attracted crowds to more than 45 North Island west coast beaches as well as a few on the east coast and in the South Island. The nationwide event, organised by a coalition of groups, coincides with the continuing protest by the Oil Free Seas Flotilla about 100 nautical miles off the coast of Raglan, where oil giant Anadarko intends to start drilling.
Texan oil giant Anadarko has not yet started to drill, although its yet untested drilling ship, Noble Bob Douglas has been on site since Tuesdaymorning. The Greenpeace sponsored yacht Vega has remained within the exclusion zone of the Bob Douglas since its arrival.
Organisers say the largest crowd was at Piha where more than 1000 gathered with banners for speeches and a haka. Other crowd estimates are Raglan, 650, Muriwai, 400 and Bethells Beach, 500.
Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Steve Abel says the huge turnout will have sent a strong message to the government.
“Today Kiwis have drawn a line in the sand saying quite clearly they don’t want deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand waters.”
Photos and video will soon be available at;
For more info;
Steve Abel, Greenpeace NZ Climate Campaigner, 021 927 301
Phil Crawford, Greenpeace NZ Media & Communications, 021 22 99 594