This morning along with four others I boarded a Government oil exploration ship in Wellington, climbed a mast and locked myself on.

I’ve never done anything like this before and to be honest, I was terrified. But as our climate is being pushed to its limits, we must all push our own limits to protect it.

As I contemplated the ledge at the stern of the ship to where I’ll attempt to climb, I thought about how much I hate heights. They scare me a lot, however I’m more scared by the fact that this ship is being used to explore for oil in the deep ocean of our coasts.

The Tangaroa is supposed to be used for atmosphere and ocean research, but the government have commandeered it to serve the interests of commercial oil companies.

At a cost of 24 million to the tax-payer, and on the eve of the Paris climate talks, it has been searching for deep sea oil reserves off the East Coast of the North Island on behalf of Statoil and Chevron!

Here is a map showing its oil exploration over the past four weeks.

Map: Tangaroa's oil exploration

It is deeply troubling to know that our scientific resources are being misused by the Government to enable fossil fuel extraction instead of being used in the public’s interest. It is lawful injustice.

Sometimes though, when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. The status quo has got to change, but before it can change it must be challenged. The government’s fossil fuel agenda would have us head for climate catastrophe – and we will not lie down and let that happen.

The message on our banners, “Climb it Change”, is a play on words and a metaphor. For all the ways we can take real action to bring about positive change. Be it painting banners, writing letters or marching, there are endless ways that our actions can create a fairer, safer world. Around the globe, people are gearing up for what could be the biggest climate march in history. We’re here to remind people that social change never came out of a boardroom or international conference, it comes from the actions and energy of people who know a better world is possible.

I can feel the momentum building. People are ready for change, and no irresponsible government or oil company is going to stand in our way.

This weekend, on Nov 28th, hundreds of thousands of people like you will take action by marching in one of the biggest global demonstrations in history – the People’s Climate March.

The march will take place in cities all over the world including in 33 locations in New Zealand alone. Find a march near you and put it in your diary for this weekend!

The world cannot wait. We need real climate action now.

All around us we’re seeing the impacts of climate change. Our Pacific neighbours are already losing their homes. And just this week we’ve seen that more than 10,000 kiwi families could be pushed from their homes due to rising sea levels.

But the good news is that already the momentum for change is huge and the fossil fuel industry is failing. Obama killed the Keystone Pipeline, Shell has been forced out of the Arctic and here in New Zealand the Government’s deep sea drilling programme is failing. And all because of people power.

I’ve been so inspired by the courage of everyone who has acted so far: from the thousands of ‘kayaktivists’ who met Shell’s oil rig in Seattle, to Elvis Teddy the East Coast fisherman who made a stand here in Aotearoa against deep sea oil drilling in his ancestral waters. And the millions of others who have spoken out against the fossil fuel industry and the Governments who support it.

If it’s the people vs oil, I like our chances.


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