Tuesday, September 11: The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior will be welcomed into Auckland tomorrow by musician Don McGlashan singing his Kiwi classic, Anchor Me.
The ship has just arrived in the country for a tour to celebrate New Zealand’s recent ban on new offshore oil exploration.
In 2005, a version of Anchor Me was recorded by a variety of well-known Kiwi artists to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the original Rainbow Warrior.
In 1985, the Rainbow Warrior was bombed by the French Secret Service in retaliation for protests against France’s Pacific nuclear testing programme. The bombing killed Greenpeace photographer, Fernando Pereira.
The Rainbow Warrior became part of New Zealand’s national identity for the many who still clearly remember the bombing.
Two years later, New Zealand became the first country in the world to declare itself nuclear free.
In April this year, New Zealand made international headlines when it became one of the first countries in the world to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration licenses.
In the lead up to last year’s election, Jacinda Ardern labelled climate change her generation’s "nuclear free moment".
Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says the Rainbow Warrior makes the link between these two historic movements.
"In the eighties New Zealand stood up to the world’s nuclear powers, and in doing so we became leaders on the biggest global threat of the time," he says.
"This year, we’ve once again become world leaders on the greatest threat of our time. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was right when she called climate change this generation’s nuclear free moment.
"It’s fitting that the Rainbow Warrior has travelled across the world to be here to celebrate our nation's bold action on climate change - action only made possible by a decade-long movement against oil, hundreds of thousands of people strong."
In Matauri Bay earlier this week, Norman and the crew laid a wreath in remembrance of Fernando Pereira and the sunken Rainbow Warrior, before launching the Making Oil History tour of New Zealand.
"While laying the wreath and then at a pōwhiri hosted by Ngāti Kura, we reflected on the success of the nuclear campaign that drove the French Government to such extreme measures, and on the parallels it has with today's big fight against climate change and the oil companies which drive it," says Norman.
The Rainbow Warrior will travel around the country, stopping in centres including Whangaparaoa Bay, Wellington, Kaikōura, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Stewart Island.
As well as celebrating the oil win, Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior crew will be holding events about the need for the Government to back New Zealand’s transition to clean energy.
Images and Video from the ship and a drone in Matauri Bay can be downloaded here:
The 2005 Greenpeace ‘Anchor Me’ music video: