School helps prepare anti-oil banners

A Dunedin school has been caught in the crossfire of the debate about deep-sea drilling.

Earlier this week, Green Party education spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty called on Education Minister Hekia Parata to prevent a roadshow run by New Zealand Oil and Gas, Tag Oil and Beach Energy from visiting schools in Taranaki.

However, ProGas Otago spokesman Andrew Whiley said it was ''hypocritical'' of Ms Delahunty to push for the roadshow to be stopped, as Oil Free Otago had visited schools in Dunedin and Logan Park High School helped prepare banners for its protest at St Clair Beach last Saturday.

''It's part of the whole anti-oil agenda,'' Mr Whiley said.

''The only message they want heard is their message.''

He had no problem with Logan Park's involvement, but believed those who were not opposed to the drilling should also have their point heard.

Ms Delahunty said there was ''quite a big difference'' between ''corporatism and local discussion''.

The biggest concern about the roadshow was ''it's being presented as scientific'', when it was a ''very business interesty promotion''.

''It's a big propaganda exercise,'' she said.

Logan Park High School science and biology teacher Yvonne Caulfield confirmed about 25 pupils had taken part in preparing banners during a lunchtime last week.

It was ''very student led'' and some joined the protesters on the beach on Saturday, she said.

''They are very keen on this oil free thing and very passionate about it.''


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