Petrobras’ Oil Survey Ship Leaves Raukūmara Basin – Don’t Come Back Now Y’Hear!
Sunday, 8 May 2011, Ōpōtiki: Petrobras’ announcement today that its oil survey ship has left the Raukūmara Basin has opponents satisfied that protests on land and at sea have sent a loud, clear message to the oil industry that New Zealanders do not want deep sea oil drilling.
Navy ships with police have acted like private security for the Brazilian oil giant as they protected oil survey ship Orient Explorer from protests for over three weeks. Petrobras’ permit to survey was for 45 - 60 days – but only 32 days were used overall the including days that protests and bad weather prevented surveying during that time.
“An early departure is a good sign regardless of the days used or not used,” said Robert Ruha of te Whānau ā Apanui. “Te Whānau ā Apanui will continue to oppose deep sea drilling in its waters now and forever. We will continue to let the Government know that te Whānau ā Apanui will oppose this exploitation of the environment for as long as it takes, and in as many forms as that opposition is necessary, until deep sea oil drilling and inland mining in our tribal territory is off the agenda forever.”
“This is a determined opposition, a united front against deep sea oil exploration that sent a clear message to international oil giants that New Zealanders do not want deep sea oil exploration”, said Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid from sea as skipper on Tiama. “Petrobras has witnessed first hand the extent and depth of anger and opposition to the Government’s unjustified plans to open up New Zealand’s waters to deep sea drilling.”
“The Prime Minister says we need deep sea oil drilling to build a strong economy and create jobs - but it doesn’t make sense. This is not regular oil drilling that we all know we will be doing for some time yet. This is frontier exploration, extremely risky because it is in waters too deep to easily fix even a simple mistake and we are increasing the risk by now inviting companies with dubious operating histories.”
“We pay tribute to the determination of skippers and crew of the flotilla boats that have taken this important fight into the seventh week since departing Auckland on the 27th of March,” she said.
This final seventh week of flotilla opposition follows announcements of deep sea oil drilling projects off Taranaki, Canterbury and Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks and the Prime Minister’s refusal to move on the issue in last Monday’s meeting with East Coast iwi leaders.
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