Hikoi against deep sea oil
Statoil, the Norwegian oil company is about to begin the first stage of its fifteen year work programme to explore for oil in the deep and dangerous waters off the west coast of Northland.
In December Statoil plans to begin a 2 year series of seismic tests using extremely loud explosions to send sound waves deep beneath the seabed to identify possible sites for drilling
There is increasing evidence that this seismic activity is extremely harmful to marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, Orca, Seals and the endanged Maui dolphin.
In addition there is creditable research suggesting that seismic testing also damages fish and other marine life and Norwegian fisherman are reporting that fish have disappeared immediately after testing, and on numerous occasions whales have been observed pannicking and surfacing extremely quickly risking fatal injury.
Once the testing is completed in aproximately 2 years Statoil plans to begin ultra deep water drilling in our waters.
In addition, a much larger area of seabed extending from 100 miles north of Cape Reinga south to the Manukau harbour is currently being offered for tender this area is much closer to shore. (see yellow area on attached map)
So far we’ve dodged the bullet that is deep water drilling.
The Brazillian oil giant PETROBRAS abandoned its exploration after a vigorous campain against them by Te Whanau a Apanui, Greenpeace and thousands of public supporters.
The American giant Anadarko failed to find any oil off the coast of Raglan after being challenged by the Oil free Seas flotilla and further seismic surveying was subjected to a spirited campaign by the Kaikoura community and the Ngati Kuri hapu led by Sir Mark Solomon.
However the front line of the struggle to keep our oceans oil free has now reached Northland.
Statoil officials have attempted to win over northland communities but have been rejected several meetings held in the far north.
Several coastal hapu have adopted formal positions of opposition to any form of exploration including Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa and the south Hokianga hapu.
Public meetings at Rawene and Kaitaia have also passed resolutions of opposition as have recreational fishing organisations.
The Statoil vice president of exploration Dr Pal Haremo has indicated that if there is significant public opposition or risk of danger to the environment then he will withdraw the company from our waters.
Our objective is to organise and demonstrate to this company that there is significant opposition and therefore they should withdraw immediately.
The Petroleum industry is having a confenece in Auckland on the 30th September to the 2nd of October so this is an opportunity to make our opposition heard and felt.
Therefore we have organised this Hikoi to travel from Cape Reinga through the affected coastal communities and ending in a series of activities targeting the Oil industry conference.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND