Protest Flotilla Anchors to Reprovision Before Returning to Sea – Te Rarawa Pledges Support

Press release - April 16, 2011
Wharekahika, Friday 15 April 2011: The flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling were welcomed by Ngāti Porou today at Wharekahika/Hicks Bay, where the flotilla will be at anchor to avoid bad weather, facilitate crew changes and reprovision, before the boats return to the Raukūmara Basin to oppose deep sea oil exploration and drilling.

Te Whānau ā Apanui kaumātua Rikirangi Gage is expected to join the flotilla crew when it next heads out.  

“We will not tolerate control of our ancestral sea areas being determined by overseas oil interests and Government forces at sea,” says Rikirangi Gage.

“The ocean has sustained our people for generations, we have looked after the sea and the sea has looked after us. But we are already seeing changes in arrival and breeding times of moki – a fish of prime importance to our tribe - due to climate and therefore sea temperature change.”

The military presence of the HMNZS Pūkakī, air force Orion flyovers and threats of arrest have not phased the flotilla members, who will continue to protest.

“We are not intimidated by the Navy ship and remain resolute in our commitment to protest and ensure that deep sea oil exploration and drilling does not happen in New Zealand waters,” says Greenpeace New Zealand Climate Campaigner Steve Abel.

The first round of protests at sea this week saw swimmers stop the seismic survey vessel Orient Explorer for nearly three days.

Meanwhile, Far North tribe Te Rarawa have publicly announced support for te Whānau ā Apanui. “We absolutely support the role of te Whānau ā Apanui to impose their presence as the bona fide custodians of the area,” says Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa spokesperson Hāmi Piripi. He says Government actions of using the military services to threaten the protest is a “forced entry mentality, which in most other domains is illegal.”

The flotilla is made up of, and supported by, a coalition of individual skippers, peoples and groups including te Whānau ā Apanui, the Nuclear Free Seas Flotilla and Greenpeace.




For more information contact:


Dayle Takitimu spokesperson for te Whānau ā Apanui on: 021 378 770

Hāmi Piripi of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa on 027 4419 426                                      

Steve Abel Greenpeace Climate Change Campaigner in Auckland on: 021 927 301

Dean Baigent-Mercer Greenpeace Communications Officer on: 0226 730 572