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Oil Free Future Summit Dunedin - 10-12 January 2014

Media Advisory - Oil Free Future Summit Dunedin

This weekend, 10-12 January, Oil Free Otago will be hosting New Zealand's first Oil Free Future Summit in Dunedin.

The Summit will open with an art exhibition and close with a DAY OF ACTION.

“The conference is an important event for New Zealand, because there has been very little public education and no public consultation around deep sea drilling. The national focus has mostly been on the Raglan drill, and on Kaikoura, but with Otago facing NZ’s next deep sea exploratory drill in February, we are the frontline, and this is our way to bring the focus back down south,” said Rosemary Penwarden, spokesperson for Oil Free Otago.


On Friday night at 5pm the Oil on Canvas exhibition begins at the Dunedin Community Gallery. Artists from all over the country will be displaying their works, as they explore the theme of deep sea drilling in Aotearoa. Names such as Simon Kaan, Marilynn Webb and James Robinson are among the entrants.


Saturday is the formal conference day. Speakers include an AV live talk from John Wathen, photo journalist from the Gulf of Mexico and Sarah Roberts, teacher and activist from Taranaki. Local experts include Bob Lloyd, Associate Professor of Physics and Director of Energy Studies at the University of Otago, Professor Colin Campbell-Hunt, Head of Accountancy and Finance at the university, Neville Auton, Otago Polytechnic’s Energy Consultant, and Dunedin’s own Rev (Dr) Peter Matheson.


On Sunday morning, in solidarity with the Summit, All Saints Anglican Church are hosting a service focused on the moral perspective linking climate change, deep sea drilling, and our responsibility to future generations.

Sunday afternoon’s DAY OF ACTION will close the Oil Free Future Summit. 'Hands Off Our Harbour' will be a symbolic, family-friendly action that involves blockading the commercial channel of Otago Harbour, to send the "hands off" message to oil companies and our government, as they put our climate and coastlines at risk.

“This action will show Anadarko that even when they drill at the bottom of the country in the bottom of the world, people from around NZ will stand up against them.” said Oil Free Otago spokesperson Niamh O’Flynn

The Oil Free Future Summit coincides with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s exploratory deep sea drilling 110 nautical miles off the coast of Raglan, and just before their drill ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, heads towards Otago's coasts to begin another exploratory well, 60km from Tairoa Head.

"This weekend will educate and motivate people to stand up against deep sea drilling off our coasts. We welcome anyone who is concerned about, or would like to learn more about deep sea drilling and what it means for our region/nation, to attend.”

For more details please see the website:



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