Greenpeace to campaign

The new Rainbow Warrior is sailing towards Dunedin to campaign but a Dunedin city councillor says residents should decide on the future of deep-sea drilling in Otago.

Greenpeace New Zealand communications officer Dean Baigent-Mercer said the third Greenpeace ship to carry the Rainbow Warrior name would dock in New Zealand ports for the first time next year.

Free public tours of the ship were planned for Dunedin, Oban on Stewart Island, Bluff, Auckland and Wellington, he said.

The ship was sailing from Sri Lanka and although the arrival time was weather dependent, it was expected to dock in Dunedin on January 31 for three days.

On board would be 30 crew and campaigners, who would share stories with the public, he said.

Greenpeace New Zealand campaigner Steve Abel said a campaign would begin at the first port of call in Northland about the risks of deep-sea oil drilling.

However, Dunedin City Council's finance, strategy and development committee chairman Cr Syd Brown said he was unaware Rainbow Warrior was coming to Dunedin to campaign against deep-sea drilling.

"If they choose to oppose the exploration of minerals, that's their choice, but they don't have the right to impose their will on anyone or the city of Dunedin."

Because the drilling was for gas, and not oil, there was less environmental concern, he said.

He had met oil companies and had been reassured their health and safety standards were greater than the New Zealand Government required. Deep-sea drilling would create big economic gains for Dunedin, he said.

"Which we lack at the moment."

Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid said donations from New Zealand funded the wet room on Rainbow Warrior, where activists boarded inflatables.



Oil imposed by council and industry not Greenpeace

Cr Syd Brown makes a fascinating twist by implying that Greenpeace is doing the imposing.  In fact the massive proposed expansion of offshore oil exploration has been imposed without any consultation on the people of Otago, Northland, East Cape and beyond.  The deepsea drilling is high risk (as US Deepwater horizin disaster showed) and the riskiest stage is the exploratory phase beginning in the Great South Basin in the summer of 2013.

The seabird capital of NZ is right in the firing line of any consequent oil spill.  As to the purported financil returns.  Even the latest Ministry of Economic development report (Aug 2012) suggests these are as little as $24 million to the whole country annually over the 45 year life of a hypothetically highly productive offshore Otago gas field.  That might sound a lot to a Lotto winner but to the national economy it is chicken feed.  When the cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was 40 billion then surely you've got to wonder on the risk benefit analysis if it's worth the risk?  Oil and gas exist together and either or both could be found off Otago.


Greenpeace is really just another corporate

I distrust Greenpeace. Their "fundraising" is questionable - last time I was asked for money I offered a few dollars because I perceived them as a good organisation doing good things. Then they said there is a minimum amount you must donate if you want to give them money.
I thought this odd, so I kept my money and went home to look up Greenpeace. They are actually more of a corporate than a charity because although many are volunteers, they also have a lot of  employees who they need to keep in a job.This makes me question which of their causes are genuinely concerning, and which are more for publicity. 

If you want to do real good for the environment, go and donate to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Put your green notes into a local cause. 

Rainbow Warrior

Fully agree with Wolf's comments. Those made by Cr Brown shows the inadequacy of the people who run Dunedin City.

Storm troopers

Syd, they said 30 crew and campaigners, not 30 storm troopers. And anyway, what those 30 crew and campaigners spend in the veggie cafes and batik shops might well be the only income for Dunedin the 'gas exploration' provides. I haven't see any rigs steaming up the harbour lately.

Rainbow Warrior coming to Dunedin

Cr Brown, how can a Greenpeace ship crewed by international volunteers impose its "will on anyone and the city of Dunedin", please? Excuse me, but I haven't read a more ridiculous comment for years.
As for the "lack of economic gains" Cr Brown is lamenting in the same article, it should be noted that he was one of the elected DCC councilors responsible for the DCC spending/borrowing of recent years. We would be financially sweet if he and colleagues had voted differently.[Abridged]

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