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Local Musicians take a stand against deep sea drilling

Local Musicians take a stand against deep sea drilling off Wellington's coast

Wellington musicians are supporting a grassroots campaign to stop deep sea oil exploration of the Pegasus Basin by Anadarko, a Texan oil company. The Basin lies 30km off the south coast of Wellington.

Oil Free Wellington, which has been campaigning against the exploration of the Basin, is holding a fundraising gig on Friday December 13th at San Francisco Bath House. The gig is featuring local performers, Matiu Te Huki, Slutopia, and Newtown Rocksteady. This comes after a year of campaigning in which hundreds of Wellingtonians put up signs stating their opposition to Anadarko's plans, and hundreds more marched on the annual Petroleum Summit which was held at the Westpac Stadium.

Oil Free Wellington organiser Fi Gibson said that, "after a year of hard work protecting Wellington's coast we're hoping to have some fun with a night of awesome music".

Thomas Owen, from Newtown Rocksteady, called the decision to play for Oil Free Wellington a "no-brainer" saying that, "we in Newtown Rocksteady are happy to put our support behind Oil Free Wellington, and join them in the fight to keep Aotearoa waters safe and clean".

He also said, "When the Gulf of Mexico oil spill happened in 2010 we were so disgusted, we wrote the song So Long in response. Its lyrics express our sentiment: "Oil on the Water, black gold in the sea, Oil on the water, has got the world on its knees". He says that it's disappointing that the song has remained topical with the Rena disaster and Anadarko's upcoming exploration. "It is such a tragedy that a song about oil spills keeps becoming topical, because what we all really want is a world where our oceans and beaches are protected from this insane and unnecessary menace".

Solo singer and guitarist Matiu Te Huki has described his reasons for supporting Oil Free Wellington very simply. "The health of our planet is more important to me than the wealth of the greedy".

Complimenting this Thomas Owen says that "There is simply no pay cheque worth the treasure we would lose in an oil spill. And as we keep seeing over and over again, oil spills do happen, despite what a Texan oil company might say."

It is likely that Anadarko will begin exploration of the Pegasus Basin this summer and Oil Free Wellington is currently campaigning to get local businesses to sign a statement of opposition to offshore oil drilling.


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