Video Blog Seven: The Wellington Departure

Tiama and Balthazar depart from Wellington with former member of Parliament Jeanette Fitzsimons and Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid

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PRESS RELEASE: Capital city farewells people’s flotilla

The last of the Oil Free Seas Flotilla boats leaves port from Wellington’s Queens Wharf on Thursday 14 November at 12noon.

There will be speeches by Members of Parliament, Ora Taiao and Oil Free Wellington. Jeanette Fitzsimons and Bunny McDiarmid will also speak; the two women will be sailing with the flotilla to confront Anadarko’s oil drilling ship over 100 nautical miles off the west coast of New Zealand.

“Jeanette and I are honoured to be sailing with the Oil Free Seas Flotilla in keeping with our country’s long tradition of peaceful protest at sea.

“We’re sailing not just to protect our beaches, and our oceans, but also to protect our nation’s economy. Our own clean-tech energy companies could provide a multi-billion dollar boost and thousands of jobs for New Zealand. But the government is instead backing oil companies like Anadarko, which makes little economic sense,” said Bunny McDiarmid, the executive director of Greenpeace.

Texan oil company Anadarko is due to start drilling around the middle to the end of November, using the previously untested drill ship the Nobel Bob Douglas.

The flotilla, made up of 6 boats, is a loose association of individuals and boat owners who oppose deep-sea drilling and the new legislation that takes away New Zealander’s long-standing right to peacefully protest at sea. One of the boats taking part, the Vega, also sailed against French nuclear tests in the Pacific.

“We love New Zealand, and this country is what it is because kiwis have stood up for what we believe in. I was on board the SV Vega protesting against French nuclear testing in the Pacific in the 70’s. Nuclear testing in the Pacific wasn’t right and deep-sea oil drilling in the Tasman is not right either. We will not be bullied into submission by big oil or dubious laws,” said Anna Horne of Oil Free Seas Flotilla.

Earlier this year, the Government announced a controversial new law to ban aspects of protesting at sea, known as the ‘Anadarko Amendment’.

“By being there we are saying to Anadarko that they are not welcome here doing this kind of activity. This law suits the suits, but not the environment and the wishes of the people of New Zealand” said Anna Horne.

The Wellington event is planned to run as follows. We invite everyone to bring a banner and come along.

10am                             Boats arrive

10.30 – 11:45am            Music

11.45 – 12.30pm            Speeches

12.30pm                         Boats Depart

Link to the Oil free Seas Flotilla website with daily video blogs:

http://oilfreeseasflotilla.org.nz/

ENDS

Contact information:

Anna Horne, Spokesperson for the Oil Free Sea Flotilla, 021 0222 1389

Ana Mules, communications officer, Greenpeace: +64 21 2609186 ana.mules@greenpeace.org

Steve Abel, energy campaigner, Greenpeace: +64 21 927301 steve.abel@greenpeace.org

Video Blog Five: The Ratbag leaves Opua

As the SV Ratbag launches from Opua, the skipper Chris Davenport has some inspiring words to say.

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Kaikoura send off

Monday, 11th November

Dear all,

Kaikoura locals welcome Tiama with open arms and banners
Kaikoura locals welcome Tiama with open arms and banners

We we had  another roaring send off, this time from Kaikoura, we arrived off the peninsula at first light this morning running under bare poles before a nice southerly gale, having a hard time slowing the boat down so we didn’t get in too early in the dark. It is a rock-strewn coastline with only a few places to get in safe close to the coastline.

As we were approaching North Wharf at 0700 hours there were already ‘Stop Deep Sea Oil’ banners flying ashore. I had thought to get in quietly and have some breakfast before anybody was around, but the Kaikoura locals seem to get up at the crack of dawn!

We came alongside the wharf but after only a short time decided to move as there was a nasty swell running up behind us, straining the lines to the max, so we anchored off and then rowed ashore, where there was a big breakfast waiting for us, and a very welcoming crowd.

We brought the foresail ashore and it is now covered with messages of support from the people of Kaikoura as well as the people from Oil Free Otago and Bluff.

The speeches for the send off were short but heartfelt, all very much in the spirit of the moment. We did receive a blessing and some special taonga from the local area to take with us, including a vertebra found on the beach of a local dolphin, some of the local limestones, one for each of the crew to mark the drilling site as no go zone and a nice hand made heart to show love and support.

I feel so inspired by this send off. There is such a strong opposition to this deep sea oil drilling, the people of Kaikoura gave us a clear mandate to carry on with our voyage and to take this message to Anadarko.

As an aside, we did not get any more beauty products on this send off but during the trip up from Bluff to Kaikoura, the Tiama crew have been liberally applying the beauty products and nice soaps that were given to us in Bluff by Hydro Surf Dunedin, and amazingly it seemed to have made a difference! We got a big bag of hugs and kisses (some to be saved for later) from the local wahine in Kaikoura and even managed to snatch a local girl as an extra crew on Tiama. So things are looking up on that front and the crew are becoming easier on the eye.

Off towards Wellington now.

Cheers
Henk

 

Video Blog Four: The Auckland Sendoff

The fourth video in the series sees us in Auckland for the launch of the SV Vega, SV Friendship and SV Shearwater II.

As Steve Abel said on the day, “The importance of standing in defence of our oceans and our coastlines against the great and unnecessary risks of deep sea oil drilling could not be greater than it is at this time in history because there is no future in oil – we need to choose a future based on clean energy.”

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Video Blog Three: Paihia

Video blog 3 finds us on the streets of Paihia where a few people told us what they thought as a local boat called Ratbag prepared to join the Oil Free Seas Flotilla.


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Video Blog Two: Tiama in Kaikoura

In the second of our series of video blogs, we get to see the Tiama calling in to Kaikoura to pick up crew before heading to Wellington to meet the rest of the flotilla.

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Video Blog One: Kaikoura

In the first of our video blogs, Pascale talks to Kaikoura folk about deep sea drilling as she waits for Henk and Tiama to pick here up on their way to Wellington.

If you liked the video and want to spread the word about the Oil Free Seas Flotilla, please share this on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media you use with the buttons below. Thanks!

BLOG: Tiama sets sail from Bluff

Well we are on our way to join the other boats in the Oil Free Seas Flotilla. We had a fantastic and slightly emotional send off from Bluff about 25 people on the wharf and a few local journalists. Most of the people in the group were from the Oil Free Otago group, a fantastic bunch of people determined to keep deep sea oil exploration of their coast. There were also quite a few locals from Bluff and Invercargill on the wharf including the local Green MP.

IMG_3870_tn
© Joel Christian Ryan

And for the sceptics, of course we had to take on some fuel before we left. Yes we are still, as a society, dependent on oil, although we are principally a sailing boat. We are sailing out to protest against deep sea oil exploration. There is a huge difference in risk and  the possible consequences between deep sea oil exploration (in this case, approx. 1500 metres deep) compared to the current shallow water oil production in New Zealand waters.

Most people signed the foresail of Tiama to help carry their message to stop deep sea oil exploration to Anardako, we will be flying this proudly.

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© Joel Christian Ryan

Oil Free Otago also gave us a feather from a Godwit (the greatest of the Pacific travelers), a hand carved amulet with some good magic in it, and of course a karakia.
They also gave us a box of beauty products, to distribute between the other boats in the flotilla. After having a good look at the Tiama crew they must have thought that we needed that.
Much appreciated, but probably a lost cause for this lot!  (I joke, thanks very much to the generous souls for donating the heavy duty sunscreen!)

Cheers to everyone for your support,

Henk

Skipper, SV Tiama