Greenpeace activists, who were arrested after breaking into Port Taranaki
and boarding a support vessel on January 31, have been released and are on
their way home.
activists boarded the Mermaid Searcher in protest of oil and gas exploration
when it arrived in New Zealand to collect resupplies for the Schlumberger-owned
125-metre long ship Amazon Warrior.
to New Zealand media reports, the activists appeared
in court and were charged with unlawfully getting into a motor
vehicle and with willful trespass.
Warrior is blasting thousands of square kilometres of the New Zealand seabed in
search of oil and gas, Greenpeace climate campaigner, Amanda Larsson,
their arrest, the activist were warned by the police that officials from the
Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) were travelling from
Wellington to charge them under the controversial 2013 Amendment to the Crown
Amendment makes it an offence to interfere with oil exploration ships at sea,
and was passed under the National Government without public consultation or a
Bill of Rights Act review.
last year, Greenpeace activists, including Executive Director Dr Russel Norman,
swam in front of the Amazon Warrior, 60 nautical miles off the Wairarapa coast,
stopping it from seismic blasting for the day.
activists and Greenpeace were charged for the first time in New Zealand history
by MBIE under the Anadarko Amendment. They face a year in jail and up to
$300,000 in collective fines. They have pleaded Not Guilty and will face trial