Anti-drilling protesters march against Norwegian oil giant

  • Breaking
  • 30/09/2014

Protesters against deep sea oil drilling have today marched through Auckland city opposing potential exploration by Norwegian oil giant Statoil.

Hundreds gathered at Britomart shortly before midday and made their way up Queen St to SkyCity, where the New Zealand Petroleum Summit is being held this week.

Protesters chanted "leave our seas alone, Statoil go home!" and brandished placards against deep sea oil drilling.

Today's march was the final stage in a four-day protest that started in Cape Reinga on Saturday.

The hikoi was joined by Oil Free Auckland and Greepeace supporters, including New Zealand actress and environmental activist Lucy Lawless.

 "We'll do whatever's necessary," hikoi organiser Mike Smith told 3 News. "We're fighting quite hard against this and my advice [to Statoil] would be just don't waste any money here; pull out before you've made any significant investment."

Mr Smith says protesters are mainly concerned about climate change, seismic testing and oil spills, and the potential effects on marine life in the Far North.

"It's a notoriously dangerous industry…If there's a spill, it's going to wipe out our pristine Northland beaches."

Greenpeace also had a strong presence at the march and were represented by Martine Norman from Norway.

"They [Statoil] have a lot of financial muscle, and they could be part of the solution, not only the problem," says Mr Norman.

He believes Statoil, which is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian government, should be looking for other ways to generate energy.

"Statoil has a lot of offshore technology. They have the knowledge, so they should be doing offshore wind, for instance."

Mr Norman says it's "completely insane due to climate and financial reasons" for companies to be looking for new drilling areas.

Statoil is a partial sponsor of the conference.

3 News

source: newshub archive