Oil Free Otago confronts Anadarko drill ship

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Last night the Oil Free Otago protest flotilla confronted Anadarko's drill ship out at sea in an area, according to their research, is the prime place to explore for oil. The flotilla's message was clear: "Stop deep sea oil drilling in our seas."

Despite the Government issuing Anadarko with permits to explore for oil off the Otago coast, a flotilla set out to protest against oil drilling.

Brendan Flack of Kaitahu says, “The reason we have gone out there is to protect our sea and all life within it.”

Niamh O'Flynn of Oil Free Otago says, “We have concerns about climate change and about how these companies aren't taking our future into consideration.”

The protest flotilla, made up of community leaders and members of Oil Free Otago, boarded the 'Tiama' and sent a clear message to the drill ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, to return home.

The flotilla has now returned to harbour, but this fight is not yet over. A spokesperson from Oil Free Otago says despite not being allowed to attend the meeting between the Government and Anadarko, they will continue to oppose deep sea drilling.

Niamh O'Flynn says, “On Saturday we have a banners on the beach event, that'll give people who weren't able to come out to sea with us, the opportunity to voice their opposition to the deep sea drilling as well.”