Report – By PMC news desk
The state of the art new Rainbow Warrior III will visit New Zealand for the first time in January and February 2013, Greenpeace has announced.
“The Rainbow Warrior has been the heart and soul of Greenpeace global campaigning for over 30 years”, says Bunny McDiarmid, executive director of Greenpeace New Zealand.
“She’s been raided, rammed, shot at and bombed but the spirit of the Rainbow Warrior is as strong as ever”.
“Many Kiwis donated to the building of the new Rainbow Warrior so it’s great to be able to show people what they made possible.”
“The Rainbow Warrior connects with New Zealanders not only because of her namesakes past but also of what she represents for our future. This ship is the embodiment of the direction we need to move in.
“Her design is innovative, intelligent and stylish. She maximises efficiency and minimises pollution of our environment. The Rainbow Warrior will be continuing to do the same thing but in a smarter, brand spanking cleaner way,” McDiarmid says.
She says it is appropriate to announce the visit of the Rainbow Warrior on the same day that Elvis Teddy of Te Whanau a Apanui is in the High Court to defend his protest action in 2011 against deep sea oil drilling in the Raukumara Basin.
The announcement also coincides with BP agreeing to initially pay out US$4.5 billion in reparations for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill two years ago, while the NZ government is frantically giving out permits to foreign oil companies to come to this country and drill in even deeper waters off the coasts of Otago, Bay of Plenty and Northland.
As the third Greenpeace ship to hold the Rainbow Warrior name, she will be docking at five locations for free public tours of the ship in Auckland, Oban (Stewart Island), Bluff, Dunedin and Wellington.
The itinerary will have some surprises in store. Details will be posted when confirmed closer to the time at www.rainbow-warrior.org.nz
The Rainbow Warrior will also visit Te Whanau a Apanui at Whangaparaoa Bay and help kick off a national “Oil free seas” hui and festival at Te Kaha in mid-January.
At 58m long, the new Rainbow Warrior is Greenpeace’s first purpose built ship, funded entirely by donations from Greenpeace supporters from across the world.
Kiwi contributions funded the wet room, where activists board the inflatables. A plaque onboard acknowledges this contribution.
After French government agents bombed the first ship in Auckland Harbour in 1985, the original ship was laid to rest off Matauri Bay, Northland.
Her replacement then picked up the baton and led global campaigns for more than 21 years before going to a Bangladesh charity called Friendship last year which now uses the vessel as a hospital ship.
Source: Greenpeace NZ