This is huge. After years of local community opposition and relentless pressure by us, Statoil has pulled the plug on its Reinga basin drilling plans in Northland.
This is a momentous victory that thousands of people like you helped make possible. And it’s a huge cause for celebration for the Northland communities, who for years have tirelessly campaigned to protect their tribal waters.
When Statoil first announced plans to drill in what is one of the most pristine parts of this country and a particularly sacred place to Maori – Te Rerenga Wairua – where the spirits of the dead depart from – we knew we couldn’t stand for it.
And we didn’t. Because it’s a vital fight. Aside from the immediate risk of deep sea oil drilling, the world faces a climate crisis. Drilling for oil we cannot afford to burn is a dangerous form of climate denial.
Statoil says the retreat is just because they didn’t find enough oil but we know that’s not the whole story. Norway’s own indigenous Sami leaders arrive here in a few days to engage with Maori on their concerns about Statoil’s behaviour here. Statoil signalling its retreat on the eve of this visit is no coincidence. Clearly Statoil knows that after such relentless local opposition, its social licence to operate here in Aotearoa country is tenuous at best.
But the fight is not yet over, Statoil still has plans for the East Coast. We must celebrate the win, but now more than ever we must keep the heat on Statoil. If we do, we can push them out for good. That’s why we’re calling for a summer of action against oil drilling.
We’ve done it before, we can do it again.
Together we’ve pushed out Petrobras, Anadarko, and Shell. Now Statoil is looking shaky.
So now, we’re gearing up for action once again…. And we need you with us, every step of the way.
Statoil’s last remaining permits are off the East Coast of the North Island, where they’ve partnered up with Chevron. And they’re planning on sending the seismic ships over this summer.
We’re calling for an escalation of community resistance to drive Statoil, Chevron and other oil companies out of the country for good. It starts again now and will come to a head back where we’ve been before: The annual oil conference – which will be held in Taranaki in March 2017.
This is our moment. This is the beginning of the end for dangerous oil drilling in New Zealand. This is an invitation to join the resistance and help to secure a clean energy future for everyone.
Are you with us?