Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Greenpeace action in Wellington against oil exploration

Greenpeace activists lock down government science ship caught searching for oil



WELLINGTON: Greenpeace activists have boarded a Government research ship after discovering it has been exploring for oil. The NIWA research boat Tangaroa has recently been refitted for oil and gas exploration and has been searching for deep sea oil reserves off the East Coast of the North Island on behalf of Statoil and Chevron.

Three Greenpeace activists have locked themselves to the mast, and more are secured to various areas on deck. They have unfurled a banner reading: "Climb it Change" and intend to stay as long as possible.


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Arrests after Greenpeace activists storm Niwa ship in Wellington harbour

24 Novermber, 2015

Greenpeace activists stormed the Niwa research ship Tangaroa, claiming the vessel has been involved in oil exploration. Protester Niamh O'Flynn was one of 2 arrested Tuesday morning.

Siana Fitzjohn, who has scaled the mast, said the protesters had provisions for the long haul if necessary.
They aimed to stop Tangaroa leaving port in search of oil. She expected to get arrested and said it was worthwhile.
Greenpeace activists at the top of Tangaroa.
Kevin Sten    Greenpeace activists at the top of Tangaroa.

She would not reveal how protesters boarded the ship, which is situated in a secure area, but said it happened "pretty quickly".
Asked how long they intended to remain, she said "we will see how it goes".
She remains with protesters Kailas Wild and Adrian Sanders on top of the mast.
Genevieve Toop and Niamh O'Flynn have now been arrested.
The activists climbed aboard the ship near the Interislander terminal in Wellington on Tuesday morning and the police launch Lady Elizabeth is at the scene.
Greenpeace claimed five activists were on board the ship, and had chained themselves to it.
It said three activists had got onboard the vessel and locked themselves to the top of its mast, while a further two were secured to the deck. 
They had unfurled a sail-shaped banner from the mast, reading: "Climb it Change", while the remaining activists have attached other banners all over the boat with the same message.
It claimed the Niwa taxpayer-funded climate and ocean research boat, Tangaroa, had been refitted at a cost of $24 million for oil and gas exploration, and was surveying for oil on the East Coast of the North Island on behalf of Statoil and Chevron.
A Niwa spokeswoman said Tangaroa was not "searching" for oil.
"We are a sea research vessel. We do have clients we work for on various things."
Greenpeace said Tangaroa had been preparing to leave Wellington Harbour to continue oil exploration, and the activists hoped to delay it from doing so.
Protester Niamh O'Flynn was one of 2 arrested Tuesday morning.
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Greenpeace climate campaigner Steve Abel said the government was being "dishonest".

"Right now, as John Key gets ready to head out to Paris for climate change talks, this taxpayer-funded science ship that should be doing vital environment work is trying to head out to survey our waters for the climate-wrecking oil industry," he said.
On Twitter, Steven Joyce responded that Tangaroa's refit was in 2010. "Niwa have been doing surveying for 30 years, Tangaroa since the 90s," he said.
When accused of not answering the question whether Tangaroa had been surveying for oil he tweeted the user to "stop trolling...You are boring".
Niwa spokesperson Susan Pepperell was heading to the ship at 10.15am.
She said they were letting the police deal with the situation and were treating it as a security breach,
She said the ship was not a cover for oil and gas exploration, and the refit of the ship was done several years ago along with other ships, for the purpose of science research.
"[Tangaroa] went through Antarctica for a study of blue whales and measuring work: it was upgraded for a lot of science reasons, it wasn't just for oil and gas," she said.
Asked whether the ship worked for Statoil and Chevron, Pepperell said she did not know the names of the ship's clients.

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