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Greenpeace targets oil industry ship

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017

Greenpeace is protesting against an oil industry survey ship off the Wairarapa coast by sending out inflatable craft to buzz it backed by a media campaign.

The crews located the Amazon Warrior, which is doing seismic surveys for Statoil and Chevron, on Friday, Greenpeace says.

Greenpeace campaigner Kate Simcock radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver a protest letter and East Coast resident Reuben Raihania Tipoki of Ngati Kahungunu delivered a message on behalf of indigenous communities.

Mr Tipoki says it's important to see first-hand what seismic blasting ships are doing in his iwi's customary waters so he can bring the stories back to his community.

"If we are to stem climate change, indigenous philosophies about how to fit in with nature and not expect nature to fit in with us must be re-adopted," he says.

Ms Simcock says the vessel is blasting sound waves into the ocean every eight seconds, 24 hours a day, and the blasts can deafen whales.

Statoil said last year it had agreed with OMV to acquire a 30 per cent working interest in a petroleum exploration permit, which covers 9800sq km in the East Coast Basin.

"This is an under-explored area with the potential for multiple plays, offering a considerable exploration upside," the company said at the time.

The companies must decide, in 2021, if the information from the exploration programme warrants commitment to a well.

In addition to the partnerships with Chevron and OMV in the East Coast and Pegasus basins, Statoil also operates two exploration permits in the Reinga basin.

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