Two Greenpeace activists who jumped into the water in front of an oil exploration ship will face sentencing tomorrow.

The pair face up to a year in jail and $50,000 in fines each.

In April 2017, Greenpeace used the crowdfunded boat Taitu, to confront the Amazon Warrior - 60 nautical miles out to sea.

Russell Norman and Sara Howell leapt from their boat and swam in front of the Amazon, preventing it from performing seismic work on the New Zealand seabed.

Advertisement

Norman said he was given no choice but to confront the boat as it searched for fossil fuels.

"As seas rise and extreme weather events become more frequent, we're facing the reality that if we delay action any longer, the worst impacts of climate change for us and our kids will be unavoidable."

In April this year the new Coalition Government made a decision to bring an end to new offshore oil and gas exploration.

Howell was pleased with the decision and said it was encouraging to see how effective peaceful protest could be.

"I'm proud and humbled that I had the opportunity to contribute to an incredible, people-powered movement that's resulted in an end to new offshore oil and gas exploration permits."

"I needed to take action because all of the life on this planet - in its oceans, mountains, rivers, forests, and cities - is marvellous and brilliant. It is delicately balanced and too special to destroy."

Norman previously told Hawke's Bay Today forging ahead with the prosecution of climate activists who had campaigned for such change was "counter-intuitive".

"We were running a campaign to end oil and gas exploration and that campaign has been largely successful. We didn't get everything we wanted but we got most of it, with the Government now saying they won't proceed with new oil and gas exploration permits."

Advertisement

The sentencing hearing will begin at 9am in the Napier District Court on July 20.