The Anadarko oil drilling ship Noble Bob Douglas has failed to show up at its intended drill site more than 100 nautical miles off the Raglan Coast.

Meanwhile the Oil-Free Seas Flotilla, made up of six vessels launched from around New Zealand, waits to engage with the ship and hamper its efforts to begin exploration.

It's a delay to what will potentially be a law-breaking protest, with sources confirming that some of the boat owners intend to flout the government's new law around protesting at sea, now known as the 'Anadarko amendment'.

Land Information New Zealand Notices to Mariners Edition 23, dated November 8, 2013 says: 'On or about 15 November 2013 until 14 February 2014 drilling operations will be performed by drillship Noble Bob Douglas'.

On board is former Green Party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons and Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid.

"I reckon there's something wrong with their huge, untested drilling ship, or they're staying away while we're right above the spot where they want to drill," says McDiarmid. "Either way, it's great to see that they're not drilling.

"That's great news for our seas, our beaches, and also our economy, and our children's prosperity."

This Saturday, New Zealanders are being asked to show their support for the flotilla by making a banner and going to their favourite west coast beach. More detail can be found at

The Oil Free Seas flotilla will confront a Texan oil company's drilling ship over 100 nautical miles off the North Island's west coast in the coming weeks. The flotilla will set sail in the next few days from Auckland, Wellington, Kaikoura, Bay of Islands and Bluff, and will head to the drilling site, which is 110 nautical miles west of Raglan. Texan oil company Anadarko is due to start drilling around the middle to the end of November, using the previously untested drill ship the Nobel Bob Douglas. Video supplied by GreenpeaceNZ