Three Greenpeace activists successfully climbed on to and hung from the port side of the vessel Atermon as it berthed at 4.00pm today in Port Tauranga, preventing 30,000 tonnes of coal from being unloaded.
In all, eight activists were arrested and charged, and then
released by police.
Greenpeace spokesperson Vanessa Atkinson says she was concerned
by the approach the Tauranga harbour authorities took to a peaceful
"The Port authorities acted in a reckless manner by ramming our
"Contrary to the comments of the harbourmaster on National Radio
this evening, Greenpeace did not act dangerously, and we did get
activists on to the side of the ship."
"Three climbers got up on to the ship and unfurled banners
reading 'Reject Polluting Power'".
Genesis is negotiating to import one million tonnes of coal
every year, on top of a recent deal struck with Solid Energy for 11
million tonnes of coal over the next eight years. The coal is to be
burnt at Genesis's Huntly Power Station, fuelling global warming by
releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Greenpeace is calling for the Government to step in and cancel
current negotiations for the further importation of one million
tonnes of coal a year. State owned enterprises such as Genesis must
be brought into line with government policy and instead invest in
clean renewable energy such as wind.
New Zealand is moving into a phase where the country will be
burning more coal for electricity generation than at any other time
in its history.