Some vessels from the Oil Free Seas flotilla have launched out to sea, with a protest on the horizon to confront oil company Anadarko's drill ship, which is due to arrive in the Taranaki Basin in a few weeks' time.
Supporters were at Auckland's Princess Wharf today to pay homage to the departing crews.
Dayle Takitimu of Te Whānau a Apanui believes, “This is a time for us to voice our concerns, to stand up against companies and the Govt, and say this isn't right.”
Drilling will see a single well drilled at a depth of 1000 metres.
Future activities will be based on the single-well campaign.
The exploratory stage is looked at as the most dangerous part of the operation.
People are concerned about the effect this may have being the first time.
Te Whānau ā-Apanui protested against another oil giant, Petrobras, who ended up throwing out their oil and gas exploration prospects in the Raukūmara Basin.
The tribe's lawyer says another effective strategy for the protesters may be to find a way to tarnish Anadarko's branding and image.
Six ships in the flotilla are set to gather at sea to confront Anadarko.
The law states that if protesters come within 500 metres of oil drilling ships, they could be fined or have their ships confiscated.