OMV, I demand that you stop oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, and give up your drilling permits here immediately.
Protestors from around the country have wrapped up a three day, 60 hour occupation of the OMV headquarters in New Plymouth the way they started – dancing.
Choreographed by School Strike 4 Climate activists, at 6pm on Wednesday the group of around 100 got up on mass and danced off the site to songs including the Macarena.
Led by Greenpeace, the three day occupation brought together people young and old from across the country, with groups including Climate Justice Taranaki, Extinction Rebellion, 350 Aotearoa, Oil Free Wellington, and many more, joining forces to disrupt Austrian oil company OMV’s operations.
At least 300 of the oil giant’s staff were forced to stay away from the office during the protest.
It followed a three day occupation of OMV’s support vessel, the Skandi Atlantic, last week in the Port of Timaru. There, around 30 people occupied what they dubbed OMV’s ‘henchboat’, preventing it from leaving port to join the oil giant’s monster drill rig sitting off the coast of New Plymouth.
OMV is preparing to drill a series of wells around 50 nautical miles off the Taranaki coastline, and a high risk deep sea well in the Great South Basin.
Climate groups up and down the country have also held protests targeting OMV over the past week in regions including Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says OMV must give up its permits and leave New Zealand.
“Over the past year, tens of thousands of people have signed petitions, held local events, occupied ships and offices, and even scaled a 24-storey building to tell OMV that their climate destroying agenda is not welcome here,” she says.
“News of New Zealand’s resistance has spread to Austria, the home country of OMV, where protesters have targeted their offices and international media have covered their contentious drill programme here.
“This three day occupation in Taranaki may have come to a close, but it’s certainly not over. People around Aotearoa will continue to be all over OMV at every turn, right up until they give up their permits and leave. We’re over companies like OMV continuing to search for new oil in a climate emergency.”
OMV is one of just 100 companies that have caused over 70 percent of the world’s climate emissions.