Protesters against deep sea oil exploration attached a banner to an Anadarko exploratory vessel in Wellington this morning.
Members of the Oil Free Wellington protest group are opposed to the plans of Texan-based oil company Anadarko's plans to survey the Pegasus Basin off the coast of Wellington for deep sea oil and gas.
Two members of the protest group entered the water at 10.30am this morning alongside the seismic survey vessel the MV Duke.
The vessel is in Wellington port today before departing to undertake the seismic survey.
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The protesters were still in the water wearing flotation devices at 11am and had attached a banner to the ship that read 'Oil Free Seas'.
Oil Free Wellington spokeswoman Jessie Dennis said deep sea drilling threatened coasts and marine life, contributed to climate change and was "simply not worth the risk".
"The seismic survey blasts can have an impact on marine mammals exposed to these sounds such as disorientation which could lead to stranding."
"We know that we need to keep 80 of known fossil fuel reserves unburnt to have a chance of keeping below two degrees of warming. Instead of locking ourselves into a fossil fuel intensive future, New Zealand should transition towards a sustainable and just society."
A march to oppose the seismic surveying will to take place at midday tomorrow, starting from Midland Park.
Labour Leader David Cunliffe yesterday announced that a Labour-led government would change laws to strengthen environmental protections around deep sea oil exploration but would work with existing explorers to allow them to meet the new standards.