Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning.
Seven activists displaying banners reading ‘No deep sea oil’ and ‘Stop Statoil’ and creating noise with alarms forced a delay as Mr Bridges was speaking to about 400 oil industry representatives at the Sky City Convention Centre. The activists were removed by security.
Norwegian oil giant Statoil has been granted a 15-year exploration permit (1) for the Northland basin which lies off the coast of Ahipara beach. It will be looking to drill between 1,000 and 2,000 metres below the ocean surface.
“Kiwis don't want Statoil drilling off our coastlines risking our beaches and economy,” says Greenpeace NZ Chief Political Advisor Nathan Argent.
A computer oil spill modelling report (2), carried out by data scientists using industry standard data and released by Greenpeace last year, shows a deep-sea blowout could have devastating impacts on New Zealand's coastal waters and significant economic consequences.
“The Government does not have a mandate to open up our oceans and drill for oil. A majority of Kiwis want to see the government invest in cleaner, smarter energy.
Yesterday around 1000 people joined the hikoi protesting Statoil's plans for deep sea oil drilling off Northland.
“According to a Colmar Brunton survey (3) just a few weeks before the election more than two thirds of Kiwis think the government should invest taxpayers’ money in building an economy that’s based on clean energy industries.
“We can create many tens of thousands of jobs and bring a multi-billion dollar boost to our economy by backing our Kiwi owned innovation which would deliver a cleaner, safer more prosperous future.”