Former Green party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, aboard SV Vega

Photo | December 1, 2013

Former Green party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, aboard SV Vega, waves to the crowd gathered at Princes Wharf to welcome the Oil Free Seas Flotilla back to Auckland. They were protesting against oil giant Anadarko drilling at a site over 100 nautical miles off the west coast of New Zealand, and in waters around a kilometre and a half deep and were at sea for close to three weeks. The Greenpeace sponsored yacht SV Vega spent seven days inside the 500 metre exclusion zone as the Noble Bob Douglas prepared to start drilling. The yachts arriving in Auckland are SV Baltazar, SV Friendship, SV Shearwater II and SV Vega. SV Ratbag arrived back at her home port in the Bay of Islands today while SV Tiama is heading south. The flotilla is a coalition of individuals and boat owners who oppose deep-sea drilling and the new legislation that takes away New Zealander’s long-standing right to peacefully protest at sea.