Celebrating 30 years of courage.

“When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.” Chief Seattle

This year is the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland’s harbour. The 1985 bombing is now part of New Zealand’s and Greenpeace’s history.

It united us in standing up against the threat of a nuclear future and inspired us to lead the world as a nuclear-free country.

So, we are marking the anniversary with a celebration of courage - those brave acts, both large and small, that can change the world.

What’s on?

Over the weekend of the anniversary we will be holding special events on the mezzanine level at The Cloud on the Queen’s Wharf on Auckland’s waterfront and would love to see you at one of them. All events are completely free and open to everyone.

Photo Exhibition: 30 Acts of Courage, Tracing the history of activism in New Zealand.

We would love for you to join us for the opening of our exhibition at at The Cloud on the Queen’s Wharf at 10:30am on Friday 10 July.

If you can’t make the opening, please do visit the exhibition over the weekend.

Workshop: Courage Works - How YOU can change the world

On Sunday 12 July, we will also be running two interactive, hands-on workshops. offering insight into the tactics, training and thinking Greenpeace and others have used, and continue to use today.

What happens before a high profile Greenpeace protest? Normally, training for these events happens behind closed doors. But today we'll be offering, for the very first time in New Zealand, an open look at the tactics, training and thinking Greenpeace and others have used, and continue to use today.

Join us for this one-off, interactive, hands-on workshops to get a closer look at how to change the world, and why we should all be doing it.

The workshops will be held at the following times:
Sunday 12 July @ 9:00am - 12:30pm and 1:00pm - 4:30pm

RSVP: To reserve your place please email: with the subject Courage Works or click the button to use our handy RSVP form:


If you can’t make any of these events in Auckland, you can still get involved by sharing your acts of courage here: http://courageworks.tumblr.com/

Book Launch: Eyes of Fire by David Robie

David Robie's book, Eyes of Fire, tells the story of the last fateful voyage of the original Rainbow Warrior. Join us at 4:30pm on Friday 10 July to launch the latest edition of the book. More information about the book can be found here.

What happened?

Just before midnight on 10 July, 1985, French agents bombed the Rainbow Warrior.  Their aim? To stop Greenpeace disrupting French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Two explosions sank the ship and killed photographer Fernando Pereira. The French government thought that getting rid of the Rainbow Warrior would get rid of opposition to its nuclear testing in the Pacific, but it had the opposite effect.  It galvanised people to demand an end to nuclear testing in the Pacific.

The original Rainbow Warrior never sailed again but a second Warrior was launched and the phrase 'You can't sink a Rainbow' was born. And in the face of worldwide opposition, France finally ended its testing programme in 1996. The second Rainbow Warrior sailed the world's oceans leading Greenpeace campaigns from the front for many years before being retired to make way for the third and current Rainbow Warrior. Read more about the Rainbow Warrior here.

Where are they now?

There were 14 Greenpeace crew aboard the Rainbow Warrior when she arrived in Auckland on her first visit to New Zealand.  30 years later, the 13 remaining crew members are spread around the world.  Four still work for Greenpeace, including Bunny McDiarmid who has headed Greenpeace in New Zealand since 2006.

As for the Rainbow Warrior herself, Northland hapu Ngati Kura offered the Rainbow Warrior a final resting place in Matauri Bay where she is now a popular dive spot.

You can take a tour of the wreck the Rainbow Warrior without even getting wet here.