On Sunday 29 March we marched from Victoria Park to Federal Street and protested outside the SkyCity Convention Centre, where a conference was being held to discuss selling off areas of the ocean to oil companies.
Around 6,000 people took part in the rally, including families, students, environmentalists and even pets! There was an amazing atmosphere in the park and a big feeling of community. We were interviewed before the march by some film students who wanted to get our opinions on the days events.
We managed to make our own banner by scrambling around for leftover materials from the builders on our roof. Our efforts paid off and lots of people took photos of Walter the Whale on the day. He even made it into a few of the videos on the Greenpeace event page.
People came with drums, banners and determination. The message was clear.
Stop deep sea oil drilling in the ocean.
A large oil spill could cause irreparable damage to the ocean, coastline, and economy. This country is incredibly beautiful and special, and New Zealanders want to keep it that way!
There were speeches and live performances in the park before the march, including a talk by Greenpeace and a drumming lesson. The drumming on the day was used as a symbol of the seismic blast created by ships prospecting for oil in New Zealand. Greenpeace Climate and Energy Spokesman Steve Abel said:
“Even though the blasting is known to distress marine mammals, it’s being carried out right now over huge tracts of ocean and very close to the habitat of the critically endangered Maui’s Dolphin.”
Niamh O’Flynn of 350 Aotearoa said:
“They’re saying we must urgently move away from burning oil and towards clean energy if we want to reduce the extreme droughts, storms and food shortages that climate change is bringing.”
Here are the rest of the photos from the day.
You can find out more about this campaign on Greenpeace’s website.