It's a ship which made international headlines in 1985, after two explosions ripped through its hull while docked at Marsden Wharf in Auckland - the Rainbow Warrior.

Now its twin will sail into Napier's inner harbour later this year to celebrate an outstanding environmental achievement.

In April 2018, Aotearoa made international headlines, when it became one of the first countries in the world to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration licences.

Internationally, Greenpeace sees the ban as so significant that it is sending the Rainbow Warrior across thousands of nautical miles to help celebrate with New Zealanders.


Titled the Oil Free Seas Tour, the ship will travel around the country, stopping in centres including Napier, Auckland, Whangaparaoa, Wellington, Taranaki, Kaikōura and Dunedin.

The Rainbow Warrior's first stop will be Matauri Bay on September 10.

Greenpeace climate campaigner Kate Simcock is thrilled the ship is sailing to New Zealand shores after the ban that followed a decade of escalating public pressure against the oil industry.

"We've seen hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets, lobbying the government, signing petitions, emailing oil companies, sailing in flotillas, and swimming in front of oil ships," she said.

Simcock said as well as celebrating the oil win, Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior crew would hold events in communities about New Zealand's transition to clean energy.

"It's fitting that 40 years later, in the lead-up to the offshore oil and gas ban announcement, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden famously labelled climate change her generation's 'nuclear free movement'."

Greenpeace protesters Russel Norman and Sara Howell appeared in the Napier District Court this year, after they attempted to obstruct an oil industry survey ship off the Wairarapa Coast, forcing it to stop its seismic blasting work.

The former Green Party co-leader and Howell swam in front of the Amazon Warrior as it searched for oil off the coast in April 2017.


They will have to wait at least another month to hear if they have avoided conviction for trying to disrupt oil exploration.