Dozens of people from seasoned activists to first timers, grandparents and academics, are continuing to occupy the support vessel for Austrian oil giant OMV.
The occupation in the Port of Timaru has now rolled over the 30 hour mark, with protestors vowing to stay put in order to delay OMV’s support vessel, the Skandi Atlantic, from servicing the oil company’s drill rig off the coast of Taranaki.
OMV is about to begin drilling three oil wells there and one in the Great South Basin off the Otago coast, where it will undertake the riskiest kind of oil drilling, at extreme depths.
On Sunday at dawn, about 30 people including a team of Greenpeace climbers, stormed aboard the Skandi, locking themselves to various areas of the boat.
Greenpeace climate campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says the protestors are equipped with enough gear and food to stay on board for a number of days.
“This amazing team of people have just spent their first night on board OMV’s henchboat, and are feeling warm, dry, and in high spirits.
“We’ve been especially heartened by the Timaru locals, who have been coming down to the port with hot drinks, food, and blankets to show their support.
“OMV’s 34,000 tonne oil rig is right now around 50 nautical miles off the Taranaki Coast. Its remote location means it’s nearly impossible for ordinary New Zealanders to take peaceful action to confront it directly.
“We’ve brought the resistance here to disrupt its chain of support. We won’t let this rig carry out its climate-destroying activities quietly, out of sight and mind.”
OMV is one of just 100 companies that have caused over 70% of the world’s climate emissions.
Hundreds of people from around the country are now preparing to travel to OMV’s headquarters in New Plymouth, where a three-day public demonstration will be kicking off on December 2.
OMV, I demand that you stop oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, and give up your drilling permits here immediately.