Kia ora Team France Adieu Areva
Auckland 28 August: Greenpeace today welcomed the America's Cup French Team to New Zealand but added that the major team sponsor, nuclear company Areva was not welcome.
Greenpeace activists held a banner that read: Kia ora Team France Adieu Areva* as the French America's cup yacht was towed into the team’s base at the Viaduct Basin this morning.
“We want to ensure that people understand that our opposition is not to the America’s Cup nor to the French team but focused directly on Areva, one of the worst nuclear polluters on the planet,” said Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace New Zealand nuclear spokesperson.
“New Zealanders need to know what Areva’s real day-job is. This company discharges nuclear waste into the ocean on a daily basis; is intimately connected to the development of France's nuclear weapons and shipped nuclear materials through our region last year despite our Government’s opposition."
Further shipments are expected in the future.
Greenpeace delivered a basket of New Zealand produce to the French team, including organic wine, cheeses and a nuclear free seas flag.
The French boats arrived on board the Speybank at Jellicoe wharf last night and were unloaded at daybreak amidst a police presence.
“It’s completely inappropriate for such a company to be using this event to promote itself, said McDiarmid. Clearly, many New Zealanders support the America's Cup but I would bet that most would also feel Areva's participation is both provocative and inappropriate”, she said.
“New Zealand is well known for its sailing, almost as much as for its nuclear free stance. There is no reason why New Zealanders can’t be pro-America’s Cup and anti-nuclear at the same time.”
Greenpeace confirmed they have no intention of disrupting the America's Cup.
*Welcome Team France, Goodbye Areva
For further information:
Nuclear spokeperson: 021 838 183
Brendan Lynch communications officer: 021 790 817