Oil Free Wellington activists block entrance to NZ Petroleum and Minerals.
On Tuesday Oil Free Wellington activists locked themselves together to block the entrance to the headquarters of NZ Petroleum and Minerals in response to the Government’s awarding of new exploration permits.
Two hours before our action the Government announced that fifteen new permits were granted covering a total of 47,690 sq km. These permits include new areas open for deep sea oil exploration off of Wellington’s coast in the Pegasus Basin, which have been granted to Statoil and Chevron.
The action sent a clear message that the continuing expansion of fossil fuel exploration will be opposed every step of the way. We did this because we can’t sit by while our Government carves up our oceans and land for more fossil fuel exploration. Our Government’s steps in the wrong direction were made clear at recent climate change negotiations and the release of the report from the Climate Action Network Europe placing us in the company of countries such as the USA for emissions. In the face of the urgency of climate change, we used our bodies to get in the way of business as usual.
As a group we’re here in solidarity with all communities affected by these plans; those in Northland, those in Taranaki, those in Otago and across Aotearoa and all of the communities across the globe who are and will be devastated by climate change. While the rich perpetuate climate change, it is the poor; particularly indigenous communities and women, across the world who are most affected by climate change.
While our activists were arrested, and are being charged with trespass, they were released and are in good spirits. We’re all immensely grateful for the messages of solidarity, support and love we’ve received.