Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard to send Simon Bridges a message
Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources.
The campaign has been organised by independent advocacy organisation ActionStation in response to the announcement made by the Minister last week of 15 new oil and mining permits in NZ including areas of the Maui’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary and Victoria Forest Park.
During the announcement, Bridges stated that he believes the public's level of concern about oil drilling has lessened in the past few years. This despite the fact that according to a Colmar Brunton survey earlier this year, “Slightly more than two thirds of the population think the government should invest taxpayers’ money in building an economy that’s based on clean energy industries.”
“Our members are deeply concerned that their voices are not being heard by our leaders” says Campaign Director, Laura O’Connell-Rapira “We survey our membership every month and a lot of New Zealanders are still very concerned about oil drilling, mining and fracking and we want to give those people a way to express that and be heard.”
The billboard will go up on Maunganui Road in Bridges’ electorate just before Christmas, where it will stay until the end of the January. It reads: ‘Dear Simon Bridges, Clean energy creates 4 x more jobs than oil. Love from all the Kiwis for economic and environmental prosperity’. This message was voted in by ActionStation members out of 12 different options.
“We are member-led and people-powered. The billboard was designed by an ActionStation member who volunteered his skills to us for free, the text on the billboard was voted by ActionStation members and the costs of the billboard were covered by our members chipping in.” says O’Connell-Rapira
ActionStation members hope to deliver a giant novelty postcard with a similar message to the Minister at Parliament in the new year.