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MBIE has released a report today which shows that over the last decade Government agencies treated protest at sea against oil exploration as a serious threat to national security.

In response, Greenpeace says that oil exploration is the real threat to national and global security, not climate activists. And MBIE’s decision to keep mobilising massive state resources to protect oil exploration company OMV this summer, shows it has learnt nothing from the last decade.

The report from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment followed the State Services Investigation into the use of discredited private investigation firm Thompson and Clarke to illegally spy on Greenpeace, to protect oil exploration companies such as Anadarko and Equinor. MBIE used information provided by TCIL to attempt to prosecute Greenpeace, including its Executive Director Russel Norman, for being climate activists.

“This report confirms what we always suspected – the highest levels of Government are working for oil companies to make climate change worse. They think oil companies need to be protected against climate activists,” says Dr Russel Norman, Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director.

“The most senior levels of Government were busy prosecuting climate activists like myself in order to protect climate criminals like oil companies, because these Government officials believed that all protest at sea against oil companies had ‘serious impacts on national security’.

“The real threat to national and global security is climate catastrophe driven by oil exploration companies like OMV – Government should be prosecuting the climate criminals not the climate protectors.

“And yet MBIE has learnt nothing from the last decade. This new report details how MBIE plans to protect oil companies like OMV against climate activists for the upcoming summer oil drilling season.

“This is not a joke – the forests of the Arctic are literally on fire, the world has just had the hottest July on record, Greenland lost billions of tonnes of ice on a single day, and still MBIE and the rest of Government are mobilising all their resources to protect oil exploration this summer, in order to make climate change worse.

“This is a climate emergency. The Government must cancel all the oil and gas exploration permits and use the navy to escort OMV out of New Zealand waters, not use the navy to arrest climate protectors as it has done in the past. And it should repeal the Anadarko Amendment, which Labour and Greens opposed in opposition.

“We will keep confronting climate criminals like OMV until the Government does the right thing and evicts them from the country.”