On Friday Oil Free Wellington was joined by people from 350, Student Strike 4 Cliamte, Extinction Rebellion, Coal Action Network Aotearoa and others outside Wellington’s Majestic Centre, where oil company OMV’s New Zealand office is headquartered. The Austrian company was told in English, te reo Māori and German that they are not welcome in Aotearoa.
Last month OMV’s oil rig arrived in Aotearoa last month to drill for oil in Taranaki. OMV is also planning to carry out experimental drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Canterbury and Otago. This comes after members of Oil Free Otago were refused entry to the offices a week ago. They were trying to hand deliver a letter signed by Dunedin residents expressing their opposition to OMV’s plans.
“People might think that oil drilling came to an end in New Zealand when the government ‘banned’ it last year,” says Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber. “Unfortunately for the climate, it’s business as usual for oil companies who want to drill here. There are still many existing drilling and exploration permits both on shore and off shore around the country.”
“Climate change is already being felt and communities and councils in New Zealand are planning for rising seas. But, while the government talks tough on tackling climate change, they’re still allowing companies to drill for fossil fuels.”
OMV is an Austrian company, whose government also purports to have strong green policies while investing in fossil fuel exploration overseas. It holds offshore oil permits in Taranaki and the Great South Basin. “There seems to be a global contradiction between what governments say and what they do when it comes to climate change,” says James.
“We need a massive shift towards renewable energy sources, as well as major structural and economic change, if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change.”
“We’re calling on everyone to get in touch with OMV’s New Zealand office and tell them we’re in a climate crisis! Tell them to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and get behind renewable energy to help protect our world,” says James.
What can you do?
1. Tell OMV we are in a climate crisis!
Ring up and tell the OMV New Zealand office that they can’t continue exploring for oil when we’re already experiencing the first effects of climate change.
Please be polite and respectful. Keep in mind that the person you speak with won’t be the person making these decisions.
Phone their Wellington office on 04-910 2500
Email them at email@example.com
Ring up and tell them to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and support renewable energy.
2. Tell the government that it’s time to stop ALL fossil fuel exploration!
Email Jacinda and Megan and tell them that they need to make oil history and end all exploration and drilling now. Not only are they allowing exisitng exploration to go ahead but they’re extending the time frames for existing permits, helping to keep oil companies here for longer.
Jacinda Ardern PM firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Woods, Minister for Energy and Resources email@example.com
3. Keep in touch and keep up date with groups around the country.
Check out their websites and stay up to date with what is going on.