Hundreds turned out to Wellington harbour today in support of Oil Free Wellingtons flotilla protest against deep sea oil drilling. Their message was simple to oil companies 'Expect resistance'. It coincides with the Paris climate negotiations announced last night, but many protesters believe little was achieved to benefit NZ.
They came in their masses, from sea and land, with one message.
Protesters from Oil Free Wellington say this is only a practice for when oil companies Statoil and Anadarko prepare to explore NZ's coasts.
Zoe Deans from the Oil Free group in Wellington say she doesn’t believe generating oil will help NZer’s in the long run, “It will create fewer jobs then the government thinks it does, and basically it’s taking more carbon out of the ground and we are putting it into the atmosphere and it's contributing to climate change.”
The Paris agreement to keep global warming below two degrees will come into effect in 2020. But many global warming protesters back home says that's not enough.
“I don’t think there was any benefit for our government going to the Climate Change Conference, if anything I think they just made the deal worse. We've seen that the NZ Government has a shocking record on Climate, they would have gone over there to make sure it's not the deal we need” says Jessie Dennis from Oil Free Wellington.
Small island nations looking for help and protection from wealthy countries were left out of the Paris agreement.
Climate Change advocate Mark Ormsby says he's not surprised, “They have such a small perspective of what's happening, and that's the trouble with those leaders, they forget the small nations.”
But for now these Oil Free Wellington protesters will continue to protest to keep NZ's coasts oil free.