Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Greens, Mana join anti-oil protesters in Wellington

The Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship on the site where oil giant Anadarko intends to start drilling.
The Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship on the site where oil giant Anadarko intends to start drilling.

Anti-oil protesters have issued a strong message to Texan oil giant Anadarko, trespassing the company from New Zealand waters at a protest in Wellington this afternoon.

Dozens turned out at Midland Park for the protest, with representatives from the Green Party and Mana Party joining chants and speeches condemning seismic testing in New Zealand.

Many attendees signed a group letter instructing Anadarko to leave New Zealand. The letter also trespassed the company from New Zealand's oceans.

Anadarko's seismic survey vessel, MV Duke, docked in Wellington yesterday. Two members of Oil Free Wellington, which organised today's protest, yesterday took to the water to attach an 'Oil Free Seas' banner to the ship.

The MV Duke will perform seismic testing in Pegasus Basin, off the coast of Wellington, once it leaves shore.

At today's protest, Green MP Gareth Hughes bought his young son Arlo along, and told the 50-strong crowd keeping New Zealand waters oil-free was important for future generations.

"It's about our kids. Anadarko's going to get the message - it's time to head back to Texas," he said.

Rheilli Uluilelata, 17, attended the protest with three friends.

"We're here today to make the young people more aware of what is actually going on."

"In the long-term, we are going to be the ones to take the consequences [environmental impacts] of what is going on now."

Mana party Wellington regional candidate Ariana Paretutangaui-Tamati had a similar message.

"Aotearoa is not for sale. No one has the right to prostitute our lands and to exploit it for future generations."

Anadarko said it had no comment about the protest.

- APNZ

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