Extinction Rebellion Block MBIE
Monday 7 October, 7 am
International: Extinction Rebellion Block New Zealand Fossil Fuel Ministry
Extinction Rebellion is blocking the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on Stout Street, Wellington.
MBIE is New Zealand’s ministry for oil, gas and minerals.
The blockade is the first of 60 disruptive events planned by Extinction Rebellion in cities around the world.
Six people are attached with metal pipes to a pink car at the Lampton Quay end of Stout Street.
The cars wheels have been removed to make it immovable.
One person is attached to a three metre pink boat at the Balance Street end of Stout Street.
Sixteen people are attached to each other surrounding the boat in a circle.
Victoria University student Melanie Vautier is locked onto the pink car.
She says she never been in an arrestable situation before, but feels the climate crisis means she has no choice.
"We want a future where all life thrives," she says. "Yet MBIE is encouraging the burning of the dirty fuels that are pushing us towards mass extinction."
"Either we make history, or we're history," Vautier says. "That means we must draw the line on fossil fuels before it's too late."
Existing oil and gas production is more than we can burn if we're to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, she says.
Vautier says the United Nation warns an increase above 1.5 degrees will lead to widespread human misery.
"Despite the climate emergency, just last week MBIE released more land in Taranaki for oil and gas exploration," she says.
"Worse, they are enabling OMV, one of the 100 climate criminals responsible for 70% of our greenhouse gases."
"This summer, OMV will start exploiting for oil and gas in untouched seas off the coast of Otago and Taranaki."
OMV is the last major oil company in New Zealand, she says.
Extinction Rebellion demands the Government, MBIE and OMV:
• Tell the truth and declare a climate and ecological emergency
• Act now to reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2025 which will require:
o A withdraw all permits for oil and gas exploration on land and at sea
o OMV to surrender their permits
o Immediate and significant investment and transition to renewable energy
• Go beyond politics and set up a Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
MBIE and OMV
• In April 2018, the New Zealand government banned the issuing of new offshore oil and gas licences. However, they didn’t revoke permits that were issued before the ban. In total, 14 offshore oil and gas exploration licences remain active in New Zealand.
• OMV holds seven exploration permits, which allow them to search for new oil and gas in previously untouched areas of New Zealand’s ocean. These include the Taranaki Basin, the Great South Basin (off Otago) and the Pegasus Basin (off Wairarapa).
• OMV is one of just a handful of companies that are controversially drilling for oil in the pristine Arctic.
• OMV expect to begin exploratory drilling in Taranaki from November 2019.
• Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa NZ started in late 2018 and has over 20 branches nationwide from Whangarei to Invercargill.
• As New Zealanders and members of the Pacific, Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa New Zealand acknowledge climate injustice is colonial injustice. Māori and Pacific peoples bear its brunt. Their voices and leadership must guide the way forward.