GREENPEACE PRESS RELEASE
Rainbow Warrior arriving tomorrow
Thursday 13 May 2004: The Greenpeace flagship the Rainbow Warrior is arriving into Auckland Friday 14 May at 11am - fresh from dramatic activities in Australia - as part of a trans-Tasman campaign to keep our food and environment free of genetically engineered crops.
It is three years since the Rainbow Warrior last visited New Zealand. Her arrival into Auckland Harbour tomorrow morning (14 May) promises to be a powerful event. A traditional Maori powhiri will be performed by Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi, a local high school that is famous for its strength in Maori culture and education. Associates and staff of the New Zealand Greenpeace office will join in the welcome.
The Warrior is intrinsically linked to New Zealand through the tragic bombing of her predecessor in Auckland on 10 July 1985 by the French Secret Service. The second Rainbow Warrior has sailed as a campaigning ship since her launch on 10 July 1989.
The Warrior is one of three Greenpeace ships currently active in a global campaign against the expansion of genetically engineered soy production. “GE soy production in the US and Argentina has led to increased chemical use, lower yields, herbicide resistant weeds and contamination of conventional crops,” Said Greenpeace GE campaigner Steve Abel (1).
Community leaders, Pakihana Hawke (Ngati Whatua), Kingi Taurua (Nga Puhi), Dell Wihongi (Nga Puhi) and Vapi Kupenga (Ngati Porou) are to fulfil the more formal arrangements of the welcome.
As part of the ceremonies, a traditional challenge or wero will be placed by tangata whenua before the international Greenpeace crew of the Rainbow Warrior. This act of kaitiakitanga or guardianship is to be bestowed on the crew to honour their work toward protecting the environment.
The Warrior will be docked from May 14 at Princess wharf where free public open days will be held on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 May. Her inspiring history and ongoing work will be imparted by crew members and campaigners. Tours are from 10am until 4pm on both days. There will also be school group tours of the Rainbow Warrior during the week.
10am media arrive at Princes
Wharf and directed to media area
10.30am Rainbow Warrior enters Harbour
11.00am Rainbow Warrior arrives Princes Wharf – Powhiri and speeches
(1) Around 50,000 tonnes of GE contaminated soy is imported to New Zealand each year by poultry company Inghams for use as chicken feed. “GE soy is bad for the environment and people don’t want to eat GE fed chicken so we are demanding that companies like Inghams commit to non-GE soy feed,” Said Abel.