Last week I was lucky enough to be one of the group of local grassroots organisers from around the country who spent a few fantastic days at sea on the Rainbow Warrior’s Bluff-to-Wellington journey. Something of a childhood dream of mine, it was a surreal and, luckily for us, sun-drenched experience. The Rainbow Warrior is all you imagine it to be; a ship made incredible by it’s people: a colourful array of inspiring folk from around the world with far more fascinating stories than you can take in over three days.

The six of us were invited aboard for a very specific purpose. As locals of areas around Aotearoa threatened by deep sea oil drilling, we came together to spend three days with each other, and Greenpeace, to learn, share, strategise and plan. We all share the common goal of ensuring our communities, cities and homes do not become the subject of the risky and dangerous experiment which is deep sea oil. We, like so many of our friends and whanau at home, are working towards another future for our communities and Aotearoa, a sustainable and equitable one.

There’s a reason they call it ‘unconventional’ oil, and the ‘final frontiers’ of exploration. It’s because they’re running out of the stuff, and these oil giants, like Anadarko, are planning on doing extremely risky deep sea drilling in one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world.

On Sunday, as we made our way over the cook strait towards my home, Wellington; not far at all from the Pegasus Basin, where Anadarko plans to be seismic surveying for oil and gas within the next year, we paused our strategizing to share a pretty special moment. Out there, in the middle of those rocky and perilous seas, could tower a drilling rig within a few short years if things Anadarko’s way. You might think we’d get depressed at the thought, but we know something Anadarko ought to:

We’ll be there every step of the way, working together, across Aotearoa, learning from each other, working with each other, our communities, Greenpeace and our friends and whanau, doing what it takes to ensure that drilling rig never arrives. We’re working towards another kind of future, and the sooner we can get Anadarko and their ilk out of the way, the sooner we can get on with building it together.

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