Friday, November 08, 2013

Oil free seas

Earlier this year, the government abused the Parliamentary process to pass the "Anadarko Amendment", outlawing anti-drilling protests at sea. The government clerly felt that threatening a year in prison and fines of up to $50,000 against peaceful protesters would silence dissent. They were wrong. Anadarko is about to start drilling off Raglan - and a flotilla of protesters will be there to meet them:

In keeping with our country’s long tradition of peaceful protest at sea, the Oil Free Seas flotilla will confront Anadarko’s oil drilling ship over 100 nautical miles off the west coast of New Zealand in the coming weeks.

The flotilla will set sail in the next few days from Auckland, Wellington, Kaikoura, Bay of Islands and Bluff, and will head to the drilling site, which is 110 nautical miles west of Raglan.


The flotilla, made up of 7 boats, is a lose 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.

They're right to protest. The consequences of an accident would be catastrophic, resulting in oil on beaches from Piha to New Plymouth and the extinction of the Maui's Dolphin. And that's not something we should risk. As for the government's attempts to outlaw such protests, they're an example of National's natural authoritarianism and subservience to foreign money - and why they should not be in government.

There's more on the flotilla here, and you can support them through GiveALittle here.