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Oil Free Otago grandmother trespassed by OMV

Oil Free Otago spokesperson and grandmother Rosemary Penwarden was served a trespass notice by OMV late yesterday.

“I was getting ready for bed when a black car pulled up my drive and a woman handed me a notice from OMV. They warned me to stay away from 19 places. Most of them are in Taranaki and I live in Dunedin, so the whole thing seems a bit daft” Ms Penwarden said.

Ms Penwarden was among the 30 climate activists who boarded OMV’s henchboat the Skandi Atlantic in Timaru in November where she was charged with trespass.

“I don’t know if this notice is related to my time on the Skandi Atlantic or not, but now I’ve also been warned off boarding three more henchboats: the Skandi Emerald, the Skandi Hercules and the Pacific Runner, all down here in the Great South Basin. I’ve also been banned from the massive COSL Prospector drill rig now in place off Balclutha, as well as four drilling platforms, two tank farms, two production stations, a stores base and four office buildings.

“Goodness” Ms Penwarden added “I would have to be super-gran to board all of those. The Skandi Atlantic was fun but pretty tiring. If OMV are worried about a 51kg grandma disrupting their multi million dollar projects they really are in a bad way. Perhaps they should leave while they still can.”

Ms Penwarden has been opposing deep sea drilling since Shell and Anadarko showed interest in the offshore Otago region in 2011, about the time her first grandchild was born.

“Do OMV think a trespass notice will frighten me? If so, I’d like to remind them that we Kiwis have a strong tradition of standing up to the Big Boys. When the things we love are threatened we do not back down.”

OMV is one of 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988. They escaped the government’s ban on new deep sea drilling by taking over Shell’s old permit, and have permission to drill up to ten wells in the Great South Basin. Currently they are drilling the Tawhaki-1 well 146km south east of Balclutha at a cost of $83.3 million.

“OMV’s monster rig snuck through smoke from Australia’s bushfires to get to the drill site, one month earlier than planned while we were all on holiday. They are looking for more climate-destroying oil and gas while our friends and neighbours across the ditch burn.

“That’s immoral. We will continue to resist OMV every step of the way.” said Ms Penwarden.

Oil Free Otago and Extinction Rebellion Otepoti will hold a public talk about OMV in Dunedin on Thursday 23 January (venue to be confirmed) accompanied by their own drill rig. On Friday 24 January they will take their rig to Balclutha, Gore and Invercargill.

"People in the South should know what OMV are up to."

“We are also calling on all Kiwis to join us to help form a sea flotilla to bear witness to OMV’s destruction in the Great South Basin.”

© Scoop Media

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